Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (OCU) rejected some of the proposed contracts that were reached with employers last December during ratification voting on Wednesday night, raising questions about a settlement that ended a strike that shut down the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for eight days last fall.
After the 600 members of the OCU went on strike against terminals and steamship agencies, other members of the ILWU honored their picket lines, bringing to a halt work at 10 terminals and most activity in the two ports, which handle about 40 percent of the nation's container traffic.
Michele Lujan, office administrator for the OCU, said union members voted down contracts with the APM Terminals which has a terminal in Los Angeles, and shipping agencies for Evergreen and China Shipping. Another 13 contracts were approved.
She said there was a stipulation in the contracts that said all 16 individual contracts for the 14 employers (some employers have two OCU contracts) have to be approved.
Stephen Berry, an attorney for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association which negotiated on behalf of the employers, said early Thursday morning he had not yet been contacted by the OCU and had only heard rumors.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the eight-day strike in late November and early December cost the local economy billions of dollars. - Chris Dupin