Longshore Workers Walk off the job

ILWU logo.

ILWU logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ILWU members walk out in Oakland

 West Coast Longshore workers have been without a union contract since July. Now management is complaining that the workers are slowing down on the job.

Dockworkers at Los Angeles-Long Beach and Seattle-Tacoma picked up their productivity a bit this weekend, but the situation turned bad in Oakland when members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union walked off their jobs for three consecutive shifts.

U.S. retailers appealed to President Barack Obama [1] to intervene in contract negotiations between West Coast dockworkers and maritime companies after a work slowdown spread to the nation’s largest container hub ahead of the holiday shopping season [2].

The National Retail Federation [3], the world’s largest retail trade association, asked Obama to step in and ensure that tensions between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, representing terminal operators and shipping lines, don’t “escalate to a complete shutdown of West Coast ports.”

Goods destined for holiday shoppers are being unloaded at 29 ports from San Diego [4] to Bellingham, Washington [5], by workers who have been without a contract since July 1. The maritime association said a slowdown that began in Seattle and Tacoma spread to Los Angeles [6] and Long Beach [7], the busiest port complex in the U.S. Those ports already face congestion from equipment shortages and rail delays.

Excerpts from Portside.

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