Washington, D.C. -- Six Democratic Members of Congress from California sent
the following letter to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and
the Pacific Maritime Association regarding the protracted labor negotiations
at West Coast ports. In the letter, the lawmakers call for end to the lock-out
and the continuation of good faith negotiations between the two sides.
October 3, 2002
Mr. Joseph Miniace
President & C.E.O.
Pacific Maritime Association
550 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94104-1060
Mr. James Spinosa, President
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
1188 Franklin Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94109
Dear Messrs. Miniace and Spinosa:
We are deeply concerned about the escalating tensions in these protracted negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).
We are aware and encouraged by the ILWU's agreement to continue forward with the negotiations. At this juncture, as an action of good faith, we strongly believe that it is time to re-open the West Coast ports and we urge the Pacific Maritime Association to do so.
The current lockout is having a severe impact on over 10,500 union employees, thousands more employees in industries dependent on receipt of timely cargo shipments, and on the families of those employees. And the lockout could further damage our already weakened American economy. The stakes are too high, the detrimental and punitive effects of a prolonged lockout will cast a pall far beyond the ILWU and PMA, and the price that will be paid is too costly if an accord is not reached quickly.
We believe that both sides are capable of resolving their remaining differences while keeping the ports open, as has been done during previous contract negotiations.
Again, we urge you to end the lockout and continue negotiations in the spirit of resolution and good faith to bring this impasse to an end. We remain ready to assist both the ILWU and PMA, within the power and scope of our offices, to reach an amicable agreement.
Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. George Miller
Sen. Barbara Boxer
Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Rep. Sam Farr
Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher
cc: Honorable, Linda Chao, Secretary of Labor
Honorable Nick Calio, Director of Legislative Affairs, White House
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