Disruptions in the port on the west coast last until Tuesday Ship’s crew

By Laura Curtis and Jordan Fabian (Bloomberg) –

The intermittent disruptions at several key ports on the U.S. West Coast are expected to last through Tuesday fifth due to ongoing labor contract negotiations.

Pacific Container Terminals at the Port of Long Beach suspended cargo operations for the first shift on Tuesday, according to a statement to the shipping industry. The announcement did not give a reason for the closure.

At least one terminal in the Port of Los Angeles suspended cargo operations Monday, while two terminals in the Port of Long Beach closed Monday “due to operational needs” and will reopen for the evening shift, Managing Director Mario Cordero said in a statement. Otherwise the port is running normally, he said.

West Coast dockers and their employers have been negotiating employment contracts for over a year, with the occasional delay or work stoppage that disrupts the flow of cargo through the US’s largest import hub.

The Pacific Maritime Association blamed the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for the latest spate of disruptions.

“Over the weekend and to date, the ILWU has continued to conduct concerted and disruptive labor actions that have slowed operations at key maritime terminals in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as elsewhere on the West Coast, including the ports of Oakland and Seattle,” he said PMA, which represents shipping companies and terminal operators, in a statement released on Monday.

“Union leaders are employing many well-known disruptive tactics from their workbook, including refusing to send workers to sea terminals, slowing operations and making unsubstantiated health and safety claims,” ​​the group added.

A spokesman for the ILWU declined to comment on the PMA’s statement. ILWU Local 13, which represents dockers in Southern California, said in a statement Friday that cargo operations in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will continue, but its members have made it their mission to “air their displeasure with the measures.” of shipping companies and terminal operators”. Position.”

Previous closures

Fenix ​​Marine Services in the Port of Los Angeles said in a statement that there was “a disruption to our gate and yard operations” Monday morning and that the gate will remain closed for the remainder of the day shift. The company canceled work on Friday due to a similar issue that prevented drivers from accessing imports. According to its website, the FMS terminal had planned to open normally on Monday.

Meanwhile, the labor shortage that had virtually closed Oakland’s international terminals on Friday appeared to be easing on Monday. “The Port of Oakland’s maritime terminals are operational today,” communications director Robert Bernardo said in an email.

The National Retail Federation again called on Monday for the White House to intervene in contract negotiations.

“As the peak shipping season begins over the holiday period, these additional disruptions will force retailers and other key shipping partners to continue shifting their cargo from West Coast ports pending a new labor contract,” said David French, senior vice president of government relations at NRF said in a statement.

Matt Schrap, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association, said short-term disruptions at ports were driving up costs for truck drivers and posing a challenge to the entire supply chain.

“We make appointments for container pickup days in advance,” Schrap said in a statement. “If appointments are canceled or a gate is closed, we have to react and redeploy.”

The Biden administration will continue to closely monitor the situation during negotiations, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday. However, she declined to say whether the White House would intervene in the talks.

“We know that the negotiations are very difficult,” said Jean-Pierre, although the negotiators had already overcome some important sticking points. “We will continue to encourage all parties to work in good faith towards a mutually beneficial solution.”

The ILWU, which represents around 22,000 longshoremen on the US West Coast, has been negotiating a new employment contract with PMA since May last year. The previous contract expired on July 1, 2022.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP

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