Parties Scramble in Wake of Mixed OCU Vote

Three of the more than a dozen bargaining units representing office clerical workers in Los Angeles-Long Beach sent employers and union leaders scrambling Thursday by rejecting a tentative contract agreement that was reached in December.

The Office Clerical Unit of INTERNATIONAL LONGSHORE AND WAREHOUSE UNION & Local 63 and waterfront employers were meeting Thursday to develop a response to the surprising vote that took place late Wednesday.

Negotiators for the OCU met on and off since April 2010 to develop a contract covering about 600 workers who process shipping documents at the offices of shipping lines and TERMINAL OPERATOR in Southern California.

With the threat of federal mediation hanging over their heads, negotiators on Dec. 4 hammered out a tentative contract that was subsequently presented to the OCU bargaining units for ratification.

The voting structure is such that each company that hires OCU workers is a distinct bargaining unit, and each unit votes separately on the contract. On Wednesday after business hours, most of the 14 units voted to approve the proposed contract, but three units rejected it.


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Union and management representatives on Thursday were attempting to determine what the next move should be. One school of thought believes that all units must approve the agreement or there is no contract. Another view is that the contract is valid at those units that approved the agreement, and negotiations should resume with the three that rejected it.

There were no pickets at the ports on Thursday and no immediate talk of posting any. Cargo interests and employers are nevertheless concerned. The OCU shut down cargo handling at 10 terminals in Los Angeles-Long Beach from Nov. 27 to Dec. 4 by posting pickets at the facilities. ILWU dockworkers refused to cross the lines.



North American Intermodal Container Volume Sets Record High

Intermodal container volume reached a record high in 2012 with 13.1 million moves, surpassing the previous year by 5.9 percent and the former high in 2007 by 9.8 percent, according to the Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics report.

For the third consecutive year, domestic containers were the driving factor, with volumes topping 5 million for the first time, reflecting an increase of 12.2 percent year-over-year.

International volume continued to have the largest share of iNTERMODAL SHIPPING loadings at 52 percent of the total with 7.5 million moves, increasing 1.7 percent from 2011.

Total intermodal shipments rose 4 percent in 2012 and 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Dubai World Central’s Air Cargo Volume Soars

Dubai Airports, which owns and manages Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central International Airport, today reported Dubai World Central handled 219,092 metric tons of air freight in 2012, a jump of 144 percent from 2011, the airport’s first full year of operations.

Dubai World Central’s average monthly AIR CARGO volume in 2012 was 18,258 metric tons, compared with 7,477 metric tons in 2011.

Aircraft movements for the year totaled 16,317, up 99 percent from 8,198 recorded in 2011.

Additionally, Dubai International moved 2.3 million metric tons of air freight in 2012.

An increasing amount of Dubai Airports’ total cargo is expected to be handled at Dubai World Central in the years ahead, with cargo volume for both airports projected to top 3 million metric tons by 2015, the company said in a written statement.




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