Steel Dispute Stops Work on Bay Bridge

Work to unload a vessel carrying steel for the Bay Bridge seismic  retrofit project remains on hold today while Caltrans officials try to  resolve a dispute over which union should do the work.

Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said his agency is meeting with the  International Longshore and Warehouse Union and American Bridge/Fluor  Enterprises, which is working with Caltrans to build the Bay Bridge's new  eastern span.

The meeting began at 9 a.m. today and there's no estimate on when  it will conclude, Ney said.

The ship, called the Zhen Hua, has been docked at Pier 7 at the  Port of Oakland since Friday and no effort has been made to offload it since  its arrival, Ney said.

American Bridge hired members of unions representing iron workers  and operating engineers to do the work, but the ILWU says it has an exclusive  right to unload such vessels at the Port of Oakland.

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