NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP)- Longshoremen at Virginia-owned marine terminals in Newport News and Portsmouth have rejected proposed wage and benefit cuts.
Members of the International Longshoremen's Association voted Thursday to reject two proposals that would have cut wages and benefits by more than 20%. Workers with more seniority would have seen cuts of more than 30%.
Union and port officials had said the cuts are needed to attract more bulk cargo to the state-owned terminals, and would put more longshoremen to work.
About one-fourth of the region's 1,600 to 1,800 longshoremen have logged fewer than 100 hours of work this year. That is far short of the 700 they need to qualify for the most basic health insurance and other benefits.