Last Friday, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the South Carolina State Ports Authority’s request to overturn a ruling. The court said the International Longshoremen’s Association’s lawsuit was allowed under its master contract with maritime employers – per the JOC
As Reuters reports, this goes back to 2020 when the SC Ports Authority said they would open the new Hugh Leatherman terminal by using non-union state employees as lift operators, while having ILA members do other work.
The ILA sued the Maritime Alliance after ships docked at the new terminal. ILA said they had violated its collective bargaining agreement with the union.
The SC Ports argued that since it did not sign the master contract, the ILA’s lawsuit was an illegal “secondary boycott” that was meant to force the port into giving the union crane work that it had never done before at Charleston.
After some back and forth between all involved parties, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals announced their 2-1 vote on the matter, agreeing that the union “had a legitimate work-preservation objective.”
The SC Port’s Authority has 90 days to file a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. The President and Chief Executive of the port’s authority said they are “reviewing the opinion and weighing all options for appeal.”