Labor roundup: Teamsters lose vote at Con-way, mediators assist port negotiations

Con-way TruckloadIn trucking labor-related news from last week, federal mediators have been called in to help resolve labor disputes at West Coast ports, while the Teamsters lost a vote at a California Con-way facility.


Teamsters and Con-way

The Teamsters last year announced it would try to organize workers and drivers at FedEx and at Con-way. So far, the union has had limited success, splitting votes at both carriers.

Con-way workers at the company’s Bakersfield, Calif., terminal became the latest to reject Teamsters affiliation. This was the fourth facility to vote against the Teamsters, while three others have voted to join the union.

The union won the two prior elections at Con-way facilities, however.

Feds to help resolve ongoing port problems

The lingering unrest at West Coast ports has caused already overly congested ports to grind even slower at points, and it has spawned strikes by drivers, dock workers, clerical workers and others.

Last week, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was called in to help port workers — and their unions — and port managers negotiate a long-term resolution.

The negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, who represents workers, and the Pacific Maritime Association, who represents employers, heated up in recent months when union workers refused to extend their short-term contracts in the fall.

PMA says the union has been withholding workers to squeeze employers, and productivity at some ports has dropped by 60 percent, PMA says.

-Jill Dunn

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