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Longshore workers at 36 ports.

Longshore workers at 36 ports

Faced with lack of resolution of bargaining issues and an impending contract expiration, the International Longshoremen's Association and cargo handling firms in 36 Atlantic and Gulf coast ports agreed to extend existing terms 14 months, to December 1, 1990. In the announcement, union and management agreed that changes in contractual work rules were necessary to preserve jobs and the financial health of employers. Reportedly, union president John Bowers had said that the contract extension was necessary because union members could not be persuaded, at the present, to accept changes in work rules and cuts in compensation.

Initially, employers had proposed paying premium rates only for work in excess of 40 hours a week (currently premium rates are paid for all hours in excess of the normal workday or work-week), freezing new employees pay at $18 an hour, linking veteran employees' pay levels to gains in productivity, freezing management's financing of employee benefits, and cutting the size of crews handling container cargo.

The problems facing the longshore employers and employees include adapting to changes in cargo handling, growing competition from nonunion operators, and shifts in cargo destination among the covered ports and to the west coast, where employees are represented by the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union.

Probably the most difficult problem facing the International Longshoremen's Association and employers is the Federal Maritime Commission's 1987 invalidation of their rules on container cargo, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1989. The parties acted to counter resulting job cuts by financially aiding employers who hire unemployed longshore workers. (See Monthly Labor Review, June 1989, p. 40.)
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Title Annotation:developments in industrial relations
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Sep 1, 1989
Previous Article:Inland Steel Corp. - Steelworkers.
Next Article:UAW convention.

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