ITF Dockers section issues letter of support to Local 63-OCU

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As you know, members of the Office Clerical Unit (OCU) of Local 63 of the ITF-affiliated International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have been on strike since 27 November 2012. Dock workers have respected their picket lines, effectively shutting down many of the terminals at the ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach.

The six hundred OCU workers have been without a contract for over two years and are fighting to stop the outsourcing of dozens of decent jobs that support working families in the harbour community.

In Cyprus last week, the ILWU struggle was brought to the attention of the global maritime union family which pledged its support and solidarity following reports that one of the employers, APM terminals, may have been bugging calls between trade union representatives at the port.

Despite the union’s efforts to find a negotiated settlement, including offering to enter into marathon bargaining to resolve the dispute, employers walked away from the bargaining table on Saturday 1 December 2012. The ITF has condemned this unprofessional conduct. We hope that the employers will remain negotiating until an agreement is reached as talks resume.

The ITF Dockers’ Section is asking all our affiliates to stay alert, inform your memberships about this dispute and be ready to provide lawful solidarity action should this be necessary. We have contacted ship owners to ensure that crews on vessels covered by ITF agreements are aware of the dispute and are advised to respect the strike, in accordance with the terms of their agreements.

Please also send messages of solidarity and support for the Office Clerical Unit workers to ray.familathe [at] ilwu.org

ITF press statements on the latest development can be found here.

Local CBS news report on employers walk out here.

Information on the companies who are members of the Harbour Employers Association negotiating with the ILWU here.

In unity

Sharon James
Secretary, ITF dockers section.

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