Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

From today’s The Post and Courier:

Omari Lincoln became a longshoreman, loading and unloading cargo along the Charleston waterfront, after watching his father and his grandfather before him do the same.

Standing outside the S.C. Statehouse July 12, surrounded by the shouts of hundreds of other union workers, Lincoln said he joined the union’s fight so the next generation of longshoremen will know their jobs are protected.

“This is my legacy,” Lincoln said.

For two years, the International Longshoremen’s Association and the State Ports Authority have been locked in a legal battle over whether ILA members or SPA employees will operate the large ship-to-shore cranes at the Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston.

Hundreds gathered at the home of the General Assembly as union workers and the SPA await a decision by an appeals court that could reverse an earlier ruling giving the ILA the right to all jobs at the terminal.

“The ILA is erroneously asserting the state is trying to take jobs away from union employees, but those jobs were never theirs to begin with in Charleston,” Barbara Melvin, the SPA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “S.C. Ports and ILA employees have productively worked alongside one another for decades, building successful careers and creating economic prosperity for their families. Our operating model works, and there is no reason to change it.”

A panel of three federal judges appeared split on key issues of the case during a June 6 hearing, though they have yet to release their decision. If the ruling comes back in favor of the union, Gov. Henry McMaster said he would expect the state to file an appeal, sending the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor