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IN BRIEF/ LABOR

Union Puts Blame on Shipping Lines

October 26, 2002|Nancy Cleeland

Longshore union officials denied they were violating court orders by orchestrating slowdowns at West Coast docks, and told the Justice Department that the blame for continuing backlogs of cargo lies with the shipping lines.

"The fact is our workers are ready, willing and able to work," said James Spinosa, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which has been in contract talks with the Pacific Maritime Assn., representing the shipping industry.

The union said any alleged slowdowns could be explained by congestion on the docks and shortages of equipment and labor.

An industry spokesman said the PMA submitted detailed charts documenting slowdowns "terminal by terminal and shift by shift."

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