ILA HOLDS RALLIES THURSDAY AT ØRSTED’S OFFICES IN NYC AND BOSTON
NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (December 20, 2023) Members of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) will conduct rallies at the New York and Boston offices of Ørsted US on Thursday, December 21, 2023, to draw public attention to the orchestrated attack on the ILA’s core work jurisdiction by Ørsted US, a developer of wind farms for the production of electricity. The rallies will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ørsted US’s New York office, located at 437 Madison Avenue, and at the Boston office, located at 399 Boylston Street.
Approximately three years ago, the Connecticut State Pier in New London, Connecticut was closed down to retrofit the terminal to handle offshore wind components. When the pier reopened, the longshore workers discovered that their traditional work jurisdiction of loading and unloading vessels and barges had been assigned to building trades unions. Ørsted US claimed that the ILA had no members trained to operate the higher technology cranes and cargo transporting equipment that were needed to handle the offshore wind components. Ørsted conveniently overlooked the fact that some two years earlier during the reconstruction phase, ILA President Harold Daggett had written to Ørsted’s CEO on several occasions requesting that Ørsted provide training for ILA members. All of these letters were ignored and Ørsted referred members of the International Union of Operating Engineers for training even though the work for which they were being trained was longshore work. To this day, there is no contractual commitment from Ørsted recognizing ILA work jurisdiction and no training timeline.
Ørsted US claims that it cannot recognize the work jurisdiction of the ILA even though Ørsted US, through its execution of a project labor agreement with the building trades unions, has recognized the work jurisdiction of those unions. By executing this agreement, Ørsted US has bound itself to a grievance procedure by which the building trades unions can dispute job assignments if they believe that another union is doing work in their traditional work jurisdiction.
The work for which the ILA is requesting to be trained is done by dockworkers in ports around the world including Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Australia. Ørsted US continues to ignore the fact that the work in dispute in the ports is longshore work. The ILA, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, and the International Dockworkers’ Council and over 250 unions from 100 countries have repeatedly implored Ørsted US to respect the ILA’s jurisdiction. However, despite these attempts, Ørsted US’s parent company, Ørsted A/S, has failed to hold Ørsted US accountable for its lapses in recognizing the ILA’s work jurisdiction, which is the same as the work jurisdiction of dockworkers around the world. The ILA, the ITF and the IDC want to ensure that all dockworkers are respected in Ørsted’s current and future projects.