Oct. 1, 2002
PMA brings armed thugs
to Federal Mediation meeting,
ILWU walks out
officers walked out of scheduled talks with the Pacific Maritime Association and
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services head Peter Hurtgen at the FMSC
office in Oakland when they arrived this morning and were greeted by gun-toting
security guards under the employment of the PMA.
The ILWU officers were asked by Hurtgen to discuss a possible government-mediated solution to the PMA lockout that has closed all seaborne cargo movement on the U.S. West Coast. Both sides had agreed to limit their representatives to five each to make the talks manageable. But the ILWU delegation arrived to find nearly the entire PMA negotiating team in the office along with two security personnel packing weapons.
ILWU International President Jim Spinosa asked Hurtgen if it was government policy to allow employers to bring weapons to mediation talks. Hurtgen replied that he was aware the PMA brought security to the meeting but didn't realize they were armed.
"This is an outrageous action taken by Miniace and the PMA," Spinosa said. "This shows how they approach negotiations, hiding behind the government and armed thugs. PMA's lockout is holding a gun to the head of the American economy and now they move to aim real guns at us. We will not be intimidated by these kinds of tactics and we will never reach an agreement as long as the PMA acts as if it can force a settlement at gun point rather than negotiate."
The ILWU will hold a press conference this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at
the union's International office at 1188 Franklin Street, Fourth Floor in San Francisco to address this latest occurrence
in the lockout.
For more information call
ILWU Communications Director Steve
Stallone at 415-775-0533.