The Longshoremen’s union is getting ready to do to LA/Long Beach what the UAW did to Detroit. By wrongly assuming that port operators can be extorted because the Pacific Ocean can’t be moved, the ILWU is badly overplaying its hand. Mediation from Washington may help settle things before they deteriorate into an open strike/lockout, but much of the damage is already done.
News / Global Logistics
Supply Chain 247
The move by the Obama administration came after shippers vowed to prevent the loading and unloading of freight through Monday from container ships at the 29 ports, barring a settlement in talks with the dockworkers’ union.
Lawmakers from both parties are urging President Barack Obama to get involved in the labor dispute that has snarled ports on the West Coast for months.
Container ships are stacked up from Los Angeles to Seattle. And now: Port operators locked out workers Thursday, and they’ll do it again over the upcoming Presidents Day weekend.
Yesterday, the PMA (Pacific Maritime Association) announced the temporary suspension of premium-pay weekend and holiday vessel operations. This impacts 29 West Coast ports on four of the next five days: Thursday, 2/12 (Lincoln’s Birthday); Saturday, 2/14; Sunday, 2/15; and Monday, 2/16 (Washington’s Birthday). The PMA indicated that yard, rail and gate operations would continue at terminal operators’ discretion.
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise 10.1 percent this month over the same time last year even as West Coast ports come closer to a possible shutdown due to the lack of a contract with dockworkers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Vice President for Supply Chain Jonathan Gold on the news of a temporary suspension of port terminal operations at the West Coast containerized ports:“Temporarily suspending port operations is just another example of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association shooting themselves in the collective bargaining foot. The continuing slowdowns and increasing congestion at West Coast ports are bringing the fears of a port shutdown closer to a reality.
On Wednesday afternoon the PMA (Pacific Maritime Association) announced that an “All-In” offer had been submitted to ILWU (International Longshore Warehouse Union) in an effort to bring closure to eight months of ongoing contract negotiations. Details pertaining to compensation and health care offer were disclosed within the PMA press release.
Union-led work slowdowns could halt the 29 U.S. West Coast ports, including the Port of Portland, in five to 10 days, the head of the shippers’ association said, urging the union to accept a new offer that includes 3 percent raises.
Seeking to break the deadlock in stalled West Coast longshore negotiations, the Pacific Maritime Association has made an “all-in” contract offer that would significantly increase compensation to members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
Chronic labor issues at the Port of Portland’s marine terminals appear to be reaching a crisis. Dockworkers walked off the job twice this week at Terminal 6, according to the terminal operator, another flash point in months of labor strife at Oregon’s only international container shipping terminal.