13 Februari 2015

[130215.EN.SEA] West Coast Employers Deny Dockers Super Holiday Weekend Pay

THE US west coast employers group, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) says it will stop waterside operations in California. Oregon and Washington for four days next week, denying recalcitrant dockers a paid four-day holiday weekend.

"PMA members have concluded that they will not conduct vessel operations on those dates, paying full shifts of ILWU workers such high rates for severely diminished productivity while the backlog of cargo at west coast ports grows," said the PMA.

Rather than provide dockers with holiday pay on Thursday, Lincoln's Birthday, and on Monday for Washington's Birthday, the PMA voted to shut down all the ports for those four days leading up to the long double holiday weekend.

Work on weekends or holidays would range from US$54 to $75 per hour for dockers and checkers, and between $77 and $92 per hour for unionised walking bosses.

Yard, gate and rail operations will continue at terminal operators' discretion, the PMA said, reported Newark's Journal of Commerce. Southern California terminal operators will expand daytime vessel operations on non-holiday weekdays.

The PMA's action was the most far-reaching in a series of shutdowns of vessel operations during the acrimonious, nine-month-long contract negotiations between the employer group and the ILWU.

"What they're doing amounts to a strike with pay, and we will reduce the extent to which we pay premium rates for such a strike," said PMA spokesman Wade Gates.

Source : HKSG.

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