Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez flew to California in order to seek a solution to a protracted labor dispute taking place at Southern California ports. As we discussed here on the blog last week, port operators locked out its unionized employees over the weekend in response to what the operators believed to be a work slowdown.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, the two unions representing the unionized employees, have flatly denied the accusation.
Secretary Perez has already spoken with union leaders, and will now meet with port management officials to see whether his presence can jumpstart stalled contract negotiations. As the reader may recall, the parties have been in talks over a new collective bargaining agreement since May 2014. While the parties have reached agreement on several contract points, they are still negotiating pay rates and dispute resolution procedures.
More on this story can be found here:
- US labor official overseeing stalled West Coast port talks – Washington Times
- Labor secretary arrives as West Coast ports back up – USA Today
- West Coast port dispute drags on – Reuters