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Strike: Congressman-elect Lowenthal Supports ILWU

The growing economic effect of a shutdown of the nation's busiest seaport prompted elected officials to urge renewed labor talks. But the newly elected Long Beach-O.C. rep sides with union.

California state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, who was elected to the 47th Congressional District earlier this month but remains a state legislator through month's end,  released the following statement Thursday on the developing labor action at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles by workers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (OCU):

"I have worked closely with both the ILWU and the port-industry employers over the past 20 years, and I am proud to stand in complete solidarity with the ILWU clerical workers and their supporters in their attempts to prevent good American jobs from being sent overseas.

"The hard-working members of the OCU have repeatedly sat down over the past two years to bargain in good faith and reach a fair and equitable contract, and I believe their ongoing efforts to protect American jobs stands as a strong example for all American workers struggling against the threat of outsourcing.

"I urge a swift return to the negotiating table and an equally swift and fair resolution that will maintain these jobs in America--for American workers--while still allowing the ports to continue as one of the nation's critical economic engines."

The roughly 800 members of the ILWU Local 63 OCU, who handle the majority of paperwork for vessels entering and exiting the LA/LB port complex, have been working without a contract since June 2010.

Stan December 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM
And one last thing... I'm not a longshoremen, I'm a machinist in support of their strike.
Sandy December 03, 2012 at 05:31 AM
As we bicker over union workers, the strike and their demands, let's remember the thousands of workers idled by their strike; the waiting ships that can be seen inside the L B breakwater and anchored off Seal Beach; the ships sent to other ports and the large and small businesses who are waiting for delivery of December goods. It is a classic ehtical question. Is it selfish for these few hundred workers to cost thousands of other workers their livlihood?
John Doe December 04, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Stan, most of the people making the waterfront unsafe are the longshoremen themselves and in second place the over the road truckers. Most of the health and safety incidents are due to longshore negligence. Them running stop signs, not wearing safety belts, not wearing appropriate clothing, and not wearing their hard hats when they need to. Trust me I have a very good idea on the docks in la/lb work.
unknownauthor December 04, 2012 at 08:54 AM
Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they brought justice and democracy to the shop floor. John F. Kennedy
JC December 05, 2012 at 07:16 AM
Beware of false knowledge, its more dangerous than Ignorance.

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