LA-LB Office Clerical Unit Reject Last Year’s Contract

On Wednesday the office clerical units of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILW) at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, voted down the tentative contract negotiated last year. This latest rejection has set the stage for another strike within a week, labor analysts concluded.

All 16 bargaining units under the ILW failed to approve the contract, according to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association (HEA), which represents the employers at the ports.

The vote has erased much of the progress from last year’s negotiations, which ended a weeklong strike that shut down the majority of the terminals at the two ports. The strike ended last year when the workers’ 40-member negotiating group voted unanimously in favor of a tentative agreement with their employers. This brought the proposed contract to a final vote among the union’s 450 clerical workers, which took place Wednesday.

It is still not clear why the 450 clerical workers did not ratify the contract. John Fageaux Jr., president of the local clerical unit of the ILW, declined to comment on whether there will be another strike.

With 8 billion dollars in lost local revenues from the strike that occurred last December, a second strike could cause further damage to the Southern California economy. Stay tuned as more develops.