Newest ILWU Local 6 members secure a first contract

A team of auto-processors at San Francisco’s Pier 80 finally got their ILWU contract in January with Pasha Automotive after a lengthy three-year effort.

Good contract with big raises

Their contract that was signed on January 16th included significant raises, good health benefits and an excellent savings plan. The Pasha Terminal Services employees at Pier 80 will receive raises with back pay from June 2019. Wages for Auto-processors are now $20.25 and will be $28.00 at the end of the contract, with Leads now making $21.25 and ending at $34.50. Workers are also guaranteed 40 hours of work each week, reimbursement for tuition and books needed for a GED or college classes. There’s also a good severance package in case the facility closes.

“These workers were determined to get the best possible agreement and they succeeded,” said ILWU Vice President (Mainland) Bobby Olvera, Jr., who negotiated the contract and signed it with Local 6 Secretary- Treasurer Jose Nuñez. ILWU Lead Organizer Agustin Ramirez provided key support.

“We look forward to welcoming these new members into the Local 6 family,” said Nuñez.

Handling valuable Teslas

The auto-processors are responsible for handling thousands of new Tesla automobiles being manufactured at the company’s plant in Fremont,

The vehicles are transported to Pier 80 on car-hauling trucks, where the new ILWU members inspect, prepare and stage the hi-tech vehicles. Workers use hand-held computers to document and track the new autos – including 4,200 that were processed in mid-January. After being inspected, the cars are staged for loading onto vessels by Local 10 longshore workers, Local 34 Clerks and Local 91 Walking Bosses. The high-value vehicles are shipped to distant markets in Asia and beyond.

Long and winding road

The effort to secure a good contract began back in 2016, when Pasha approached the ILWU about the company’s interest in using Pier 80 to export autos on the company’s “ro-ro’s” vessels – which allow cars to roll-on and roll-off.

Despite numerous early inquiries from the ILWU about union representation for the auto-processors, Pasha went ahead and made a side deal with Teamster union officials that violated the rights of workers who are entitled by law to choose which union they prefer. Workers finally got that chance in May of 2019, when they voted for ILWU representation.

Jameca Kemp, the highest seniority auto processor at Pier 80, has been employed by Pasha for over 3 years, and has seen the process slowly wind its way toward a positive outcome in January. “We’re happy with the contract and look forward to being part of the ILWU,” she said