UPDATE: Since Monday morning, many ILA members have added additional photos, including the one from Bayonne tacked on at the end of the blog entry. Also updated is an additional news link to an article from the Journal of Commerce:
Early in the morning on September 28, union members represented by the International Longshoremen's Association Local 1291 began informational leafleting at Port Newark—Elizabeth Port, and with the support of ILA Checkers Local 1, who declined to check ordered longshoremen on their various piers, the informational work slowdown spread to every terminal in Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey.
On Thursday, July 22, 2010, Del Monte Fresh Produce, NA demanded $5 million in labor cost reductions from the International Longshoremen's Association and approximately $25 million in infrastructure improvements from the State of New Jersey (Del Monte operation is on the Camden, NJ side of the Port of Philadelphia). While ILA Local 1291 agreed to meet these onerous demands in hoping to save 200 family sustaining jobs. The State of New Jersey also acted quickly and offered but a modification package and an extended lease to Del Monte on Pier 5 in Camden, but Del Monte imposed an unrealistic four-day deadline on their demands. Now they've served notice of their intent to move to a non-union facility in Gloucester City, NJ. To quote the leaflet distributed at terminals in Newark and Elizabeth, NJ, "the workers lose, the employers lose, and the states on both sides of the Delaware River lose."
Camden Local 1291 members report the Holt Logistics (owned, along with Packers Avenue Marine Terminal, by Leo Hot) is the source the dispute. See the Philadelphia Inquirer and Transport Workers Solidarity Committee for more information. Holt claims that his Gloucester Terminals is "fully unionized" holding contracts with an organization called "Dockworkers Union Local #1," but these so-called labor agreements pay workers $12 an hour with no benefits. Holt Logistics will also save money by ignoring the Port of Philadelphia's safety-based rule requiring that all vessels arrive accompanied by two tug boats.
At Fire on the Mountain, we have seen this kind of attempt at union-busting before, in the Port of Charlestown, North Carolina (see Charleston 5). Most of today's entry revolves around Port Newark/Elizabethport. The pictures are all from APM Terminals, but the photo below is from Bayonne, near Global Terminals, taken by a Newark ILA member ordered to a car ship in that port.
See todays article about Del Monte dispute in the Journal of Commerce.