Nine months of negotiation between U.S. West Coast port management and labor has resulted in a satisfactory deal with one exception. That solitary issue is the hook that this process is snagged on. The union wants the right to dismiss an arbitrator. Currently both management and labor have to agree to the dismissal. Why is this so important to the union? It seems it is down to one particular arbitrator, David Miller, who has been arbitrating for Southern California since 2002. The union feels he is pro-management. Miller is requesting proof of this bias. He says there is no basis for the allegations. He believes he must have upset someone and they are retaliating for a previous perceived slight. The closed door talks with the U.S. Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez, are likely focused on this issue.
Justin Pritchard, Associated Press. “AP sources say port talks focus on arbitrator” www.news.yahoo.com 2/17/2015. http://news.yahoo.com/us-labor-official-overseeing-stalled-west-coast-port-082212492–finance.html (2/18/2015).