WHEN dockers insisted on a larger gang size this week, management sacked the men and shut down Oakland's biggest terminal in a breach of labour truce signed February 21 pending ratification of the union contract.
Management said Local 10 of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) imposed its new manning requirements on the terminal operator, reported Newark's Journal of Commerce.
The union demanded an increase in gang size from two to three on each yard crane because a skilled crane driver should not be expected to do the work of an unskilled "pin man", ensuring containers were fastened to truck chassis.
The employers of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) said that ILWU work stoppages have become commonplace in Oakland.
Said the ILWU: "When workers raised concerns about the improper staffing, they were fired by management."
The contract must still be ratified by 90-member union caucus after a meeting on March 30 in San Francisco. If ratified, it then goes to a full membership vote of 20,000.
Source : HKSG.