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New London State Pier partially shuts down as union members protest

Union protesters outside of the New London State Pier on Monday.
Brian Scott-Smith
Union protesters outside of the New London State Pier on Monday.

Members of the International Longshoremen Association began their strike at the State Pier in New London on Monday.

It comes just a month after hundreds of union members protested against Orsted at ports across the country. The union said Orsted is ignoring their jurisdiction by giving union jobs to their own workers at the State Pier.

Union president Peter Olsen said they’re refusing to load a barge of wind parts as part of their protest.

“It’s not to get loaded,” Olsen said. “We’re out here. We’re on the street. Not in there working. We’re trying to get Orsted to come back and realize that the port is our jurisdiction, and we want everybody out here in the community to realize that Orsted is a foreign entity and it's to our national security that they not be the ones dictating how and when we work.”

Orsted is based in Denmark. They are currently using the New London State Pier for an offshore wind project.

In a statement, an Orsted spokesperson said they were disappointed that union leadership refused their offers to fund union training on heavy machinery.

Orsted said without that training, union members will not qualify for some jobs at the State Pier.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.