Federal Labor Council votes in favor of Charleston Ports Agency Leatherman Terminal | Business


The union that represents Charleston port dockworkers cannot prevent shipping companies from calling at the Leatherman terminal in North Charleston, a federal judge ruled on September 16.

Andrew Gollin, administrative judge of the National Labor Relations Board, delivered the ruling in a case in which the International Longshoremen’s Association claims its contract with shipping companies calls for union members to operate cranes and other lifting equipment heavy on the Leatherman site. State Ports Authority workers currently operate the equipment there and at other terminals in the Port of Charleston.

Gollin said the contract was to preserve the work of the union, not to acquire additional jobs that were not previously held by union members. He also called the ILA threat to sue shipping companies who call Leatherman an illegal secondary boycott because the authority is not a party to the union’s contract with the shipping carriers.

The union cannot “threaten, restrict or coerce” shipping companies “to stop doing business with the South Carolina State Ports Authority, the State of South Carolina or any other person,” Gollin said in his order.

It is not clear whether the ILA will appeal Gollin’s decision for review by the NLRB board. Union spokesman Jim McNamara said the ILA had no immediate comment on the decision.

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“There may be a right of appeal by the union, so this issue may not yet be fully resolved. For this reason, we cannot comment further,” said Robert Kittle, spokesperson for the office. the Attorney General of South Carolina, who joined the SPA in filing a complaint against the union with the labor board.

Jim Newsome, President and CEO of SPA, said Gollin’s decision “affirms the long-standing, historic and competitive working model in which state port employees and local union employees work. in partnership in the terminals (port) “.

Newsome said he looks forward to working with union members to get the Leatherman terminal fully operational. The labor dispute has taken its toll on the first phase of the billion-dollar terminal, which has seen only about 10 percent of the containers it has had to handle since it opened.

The fact that the Leatherman terminal is operating at full capacity, Newsome said, “is absolutely necessary given the significant supply chain congestion in the US port industry, particularly in the southeast,” said he declared.

Contact David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_

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