Nine hundred clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have threatened to strike unless companies make concessions. Though no walkout date has been set, the union voted unanimously on Tuesday night after shipping companies failed to reach an agreement before the July 1 contract expiration date. According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the union and a collation of international shipping companies have been meeting in an attempt agree on contract terms since April 19.
According to John Fageaux, president of the Office Clerical Unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Local 63, workers are looking to prevent employers from outsouring jobs.
Representatives from shipping companies have called the threat to strike “irresponsible.”
“[The strike] could upset cargo orders on the West Coast just ahead of peak season, and could reverse the modest gains that have begun to put people back to work,” said Stephen Berry, an attorney representing the Harbor Employers Association.
Fageaux says that both sides plan to meet again at 6 p.m. Wednesday to resume negotiations. A walkout would not only disrupt operations at the nation's largest port complex, but would also impact revenue for Los Angeles and Long Beach.