Many rank and file Longshore Workers in Portland, Oregon did not take work today to join retirees at the Pacific Maritime Association's local office to protest failure of the employer group to properly process medical claims. This has been especially grievous for retirees who have more medical bills than younger workers and are living with less income. Protesters entered the building, ignoring signs claiming doors were locked temporarily. Many of the crowd went upstairs to the PMA office and confronted workers there. The PMA staff said they had to leave to attend an arbitration on the claim that longshore workers did not fill the work for the day. Loss of the arbitration could mean a temporary loss of pay to some longshore workers for days they could not get work.
Retirees said that their medical claims have in some cases been improperly denied and more often delayed, making it necessary to pay expenses out of pocket. Demands were made that the medical bills be paid fully and timely according to the contract.
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