US West Coast longshore workers have filed suit with the district court in Los Angeles against the terminal operators asking for compensation of their health costs.
Some 300,000 claims are being submitted saying that the Pacific Maritime Association’s health plan was in violation of the federal law.
Should the court rule in favour of port workers, the claims could reach up to USD 100 million in unpaid costs, Michael McClelland, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the case, is quoted by Long Beach Press Telegram as saying.
Apart from PMA, the lawsuit names Zenith American Solutions and Cigna Inc., the current and former third-party administrators of the employee health plan for the workers, along with PMA trustees who manage the plan, the newspaper said.
The PMA and ILWU reached a tentative agreement at the end of February on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports after nine months of talks.
Details of the agreement have not been released. However, the deal has enabled the port operations to be resumed so as to unclog the congested ports.
World Maritime News Staff