COPENHAGEN, Dec 6 (Reuters) – A U.S. port workers union has accused APM Terminals, a port operator of A.P. Moller-Maersk, of spying on union representatives in Los Angeles by tapping their phones.

APM Terminals spokesman Erik Eisenberg said on Thursday the firm was taking the allegation from a sub-division of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) seriously and was investigating whether there was any truth to it.

“The allegation is that there would have been phone tapping taking place, that management would have listened in to conversations between labor representatives,” Eisenberg said.

“We have put the person who is at the center of these allegations, a manager in our Los Angeles facility, on administrative leave,” he said, adding he did not know when the alleged tapping was meant to have taken place.

He did not confirm a report by Danish union 3F’s paper Fagbladet3F late on Wednesday that APM Terminals had admitted to the claim to the ILWU.

He also declined to say whether the union had filed any legal complaint against APM Terminals. Fagbladet3F reported that the union had filed a complaint to a U.S. labor law board.

Port workers at several terminals in the Los Angeles area, including one owned by APM Terminals, returned to work on Wednesday after an eight day strike.

© 2012 Thomson Reuters.

Cover photo via Shutterstock

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