PMA Clears Up ILWU Misrepresentations


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.  (October 25, 2002) -- The PMA would like to clear up several misrepresentations by the ILWU in its press release today.

It belies common sense that the PMA would do anything other than try to move cargo as expeditiously as possible.  Our member companies and their customers are losing millions of dollars because of the slow movement of goods at the ports.

Despite its rhetoric, the Union fails to refute the substantial drop in productivity.  The facts are the facts.  At the request of the Department of Justice, the PMA provided additional detailed information today which clearly indicates a substantial decline in productivity at the West Coast ports.

Productivity was measured by carefully tracking gross container moves per hour actually achieved in the first two weeks since entry of the Court Order, and comparing them with the normal gross moves per hour by vessel and port. 

There can be no dispute that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and its locals and members, are engaging in a systematic, coordinated effort to reduce productivity, slow down operations, and generally make work at the waterfront difficult and time-consuming.

The PMA engaged in discussions with the ILWU officials about the productivity problems before approaching the Department of Justice.  We held steering committee meetings in every major port, and discussed our concerns directly with the Union.  Unfortunately, the Union continued to stage orchestrated work slowdowns against PMA member companies.

Finally, the ILWU and PMA have used the grievance and arbitration procedures in the existing contract despite the Union’s assertion to the contrary.  The use of this grievance machinery does not preclude, however, Judge Alsup from determining whether the ILWU is complying with the court’s order.

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