COURT HOUSE – Cape May County issued a statement, Sept. 20, condemning the Danish wind farm developer Ørsted for what the county called “union-busting efforts.”
“The County of Cape May roundly condemns Ørsted’s Union-busting efforts and makes this statement in support of the members of our Trade Unions, who have obviously been lied to by Big Wind and their government enablers throughout the country and here in New Jersey,” the county said, adding that, “Ørsted is not interested in creating good, union jobs.”
At issue is a protest by the International Longshoreman’s Association, which claims that its long-standing work jurisdiction was violated by Ørsted when the company moved the loading and unloading of offshore wind farm components to building trade unions at a New London, Connecticut, pier that had recently been retrofitted to handle such components.
Ørsted said that the switch to the building trade unions, meaning Operating Engineers, was necessitated by the fact that International Longshoreman’s Association workers did not have the training or skillsets needed to operate the equipment required by the task. International Longshoreman’s Association officials say they asked Ørsted for the proper training during the entire two-year period the pier was under retrofitting.
Ørsted has dismissed the dispute as a jurisdictional one between the International Longshoreman’s Association and the Operating Engineers.
Hundreds of workers supporting the International Longshoreman’s Association protested in New London, Sept. 20. A posting by the International Longshoreman’s Association called for similar protests at ports and terminals in the U.S. and abroad.
Reports are that several maritime unions have called on Ørsted CEO Mads Nipper to personally intervene in the dispute.
In Cape May County, moves by Ørsted to transfer the work to building trade unions are being seen as evidence that the company never intended to be a supporter of union labor. The county called the moves by Ørsted a precursor to the employment of cheap foreign labor “at the expense of American families.”
Contact the author, Vince Conti, at firstname.lastname@example.org.