Local 20 gets new contract with Rio Tinto at Port of LA

A new five-year contract has been ratified covering 77 members of ILWU Local 20 who work on a private dock at the Port of Los Angeles where they load and process materials mined at Rio Tinto’s giant borate mine and plant in the Mojave Desert that employs over 500 members of Local 30 in Boron, CA. Retirement benefits The Local 20 Negotiating Committee of Rudy Dorame, Mike Gonzolo, Tim Simpson and Robert Frazier began negotiating in December of 2016. They reached a tentative agreement with the company on June 3, and members ratified the new contract a week later. The new agreement will increase defined pension benefits from the current $75 per year of service to $80 at the end of the 5-year contract. The company also provides a 401(k) savings plan for newer employees. Recovering some lost ground A previous contract opened the door for a “two-tier” pay and retirement scheme that caused divisions between newer and older workers, that

would eventually lower pay throughout the shop. To help, the new contract guarantees minimum raises of 2.5% to everyone for each of the 5 years, while also providing 3.5% raises to lowerpaid, newer workers in years 4 and 5. Another improvement restores seniority bidding rights to everyone hired after 2011. The new agreement also provides more vacation carry-over, better death benefits, more funeral leave, and higher allowances for safety shoes

and glasses. The probationary period was also reduced from 120 to 60 days, improving job security for new members. The company also agreed to post overtime equalization charts and share testing results when they’re required for bidding certain jobs. A last-minute effort by the company to claw back a $1000 signing bonus was also defeated and that cash payout became part of the package.

Local 20 gets new contract with Rio Tinto at Port of LA

Unity was important “We tried to keep everyone informed and members stayed united,” said Local 20 President Rudy Dorame, who also thanked “all of our brothers and sisters from the surrounding locals in our area,” noting that “the ILWU family here in the harbor really came through for us.” He also mentioned international support that included Australia’s CFMEU. “I think all the support and solidarity made Rio Tinto take our contract talks more seriously,” said Dorame.

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