Port of LA/Long Beach strike update: Shippers demand executive action
November 30, 2012
While negotiating teams representing employers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach meet with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit (“OCU”) today, several key terminals at both ocean cargo gateways are shut down.
In Los Angeles, operations at 10 of the 14 terminals have stopped. In Long Beach, three of six terminals are closed.
The strike has already had a severe impact on the flow of cargo and on jobs in the harbor community, with multiple ships sitting idle at berth or at anchor in the harbor and hundreds of workers in the ports out of work, report port authorities.
Industry analysts note that there is a significant amount of freight on the water now, so retailers will have to assess over the next week or so whether to ship to alternative ports for current/future Asia departures and whether the goods that are already on the water will make it in time to market (or if extra needs to be shipped airfreight).
Meanwhile, with cargo destined for retail shelves stranded in the San Pedro harbor, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is demanding that the Obama Administration step in:
“Given the enormous risk posed by a prolonged shutdown of the nation’s busiest ports, we urge you to consider all options, including invoking the Taft-Hartley Act, in order to restore the critical flow of commerce,” said RILA president, Sandra L. Kennedy
“We respectfully ask that you put the weight of the White House behind resolving this dispute.”
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