Ports union, employers meet with mediator
With the Justice Department calling on both sides to submit evidence on management?s allegations, and workers? denials, of union slowdowns on West Coast docks (see yesterday?s WIT), a federal mediator today attempted to restart port negotiations that collapsed in a management lockout last month (see WIT for Sep. 30, 2002). Frustrated with what they characterized as the Pacific Maritime Association?s (PMA) failure to negotiate seriously, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is hoping that the mediator may be able to move the talks in a productive direction. Whether the involvement of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) will serve to bring the two sides closer together, is still very much in question in these negotiations that have seen very little movement from management on the key issues of technology introduction and union representation for newly created job descriptions.