Thirty-one ILWU members from Local 13’s Allied Division unanimously approved a new 5-year contract in October with Oxbow Carbon & Minerals in Long Beach.
The new agreement protects existing standards and includes improvements.
“We won a good agreement thanks to the involvement of everyone at work, and the support from our longshore brothers and sisters who work all around us at Piers 212 and 214 in Long Beach,” said Steve Cannon who was elected to serve on the Negotiating Committee, along with Daniel Salazar, Andres Ceja and Jesus “Chuy” Guzman.
Cannon helped the Negotiating Committee prepare by calculating that the company was generating over $2 billion in annual revenue, and had labor costs amounting to roughly $3.5 million per year, so there were funds available to pay for a decent contract.
The new 5-year agreement will:
- Maintain current health benefits.
- Raise annual pay by 4% each year.
- Increase the employers annual 401(k) contributions by $6000-$7500.
- Add two more paid holidays; Bloody Thursday and Veterans Day.
- Add another Personal Day for anyone working 8-hour shifts.
- Increase paid vacation days to 5 weeks after 15 years and 6 weeks after 20.
- Improve grievance language.
- Require the company to provide quality tools (Craftsman, Snap-On, Williams)
- Improve drug testing procedures by using swabs instead of urine.
- Provide for voluntary blood testing to monitor hydrocarbon & metal exposures
The Oxbow Carbon & Mineral operation in Long Beach collects petroleum coke, which is a byproduct from oil refineries in the region. Most of the “pet-coke” is then shipped overseas where it is often used to fuel cement kilns, or to smelt steel and aluminum.
“We were clear about our goals from the beginning,” said Negotiating Committee member Jesus “Chuy” Guzman. “We stuck together and got tremendous help from Local 13, including hands-on help from Bobby Olvera, Jr. and Vice President Julie Brady.”