Bakery Workers Reject American Crystal Sugar's Contract Offer: Mark Wolski of Bloomberg BNA ($) reports that members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers Union rejected American Crystal Sugar's final offer for the fourth time. As a result, the 16-month lockout will continue.
American Crystal began the lockout Aug. 1, 2011, after more than 90 percent of union members who voted rejected a contract offer that would have increased their wages by 14 percent over five years and paid them each a $2,000 signing bonus (147 DLR A-12, 8/1/11). Riskey at the time said the proposal had been rejected because it called for moving workers to the company's health plan, which would increase their out-of-pocket costs for health care. He added that language in the proposal would have allowed for increased contracting out.
LA Port Strike Continues: CNBC.com reports that the strike at the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California has entered its sixth day and is beginning to disrupt the just-in-time supply chains of US manufacturers.
Because of the strike's potential to damage the economy, calls are becoming more urgent for a resolution of the labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (Local 63 Office Clerical) and some of the world's biggest shipping lines and terminal operators, who have operations at the two ports. The ports account for at least 40 percent of total imported containerized cargo for the United States.
Experience shows that the effects of such a strike can be long-lasting. It took retailers about six months to recover from a 10-day lockout of longshoremen at several West Coast ports in 2002, Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Foundation, told The Sun newspaper in San Bernardino, Calif.
At issue are allegations by the union that the terminal companies are shifting jobs to lower-wage workers in other states and countries and a desire by the companies to eliminate featherbedding in the contracts.
Palermo's Pizza Discusses Settlement: Michael Bologna of Bloomberg BNA ($) writes that Palermo's Pizza could reinstate as many as nine employees under a potential settlement resolving unfair labor practice charges against the employer.
Gottschalk [the NLRB's Regional Director] said a final settlement could be several weeks away because the Palermo's Workers Union has objected to a large portion of his Nov. 21 finding. Although Gottschalk found instances where Palermo's managers intimidated workers for engaging in protected activities, he also rejected the union's central allegation that the company had illegally fired 75 production workers in late May (227 DLR A-3, 11/26/12). Gottschalk determined that Palermo's actions were executed in response to a federal immigration audit and did not infringe on the workers' NLRA rights.
The union's Dec. 3 statement indicated it would appeal this portion of Gottschalk's decision to NLRB's Office of General Counsel. The Palermo's Workers Union and Voces de la Frontera said the decision has “disturbing implications for the future of low-wage workers organizing in the U.S.”
Is the NHL Lockout Coming to an End?: Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports' Puck Daddy blog writes that a Boston sports reporter is reporting that significant progress was made yesterday in the National Hockey League's labor negotiations during a meeting between "high-ranking official[s]" from each side and that an announcement to the end of the lockout as early as today or Wednesday. However, Wyshynski advises to take the report with a grain of salt, and notes that it is already being denied by several sources.
Negotiations will resume today in what the Washington Post calls "unusual labor talks" as owners and players are scheduled to meet without their chief bargainers.