Seaports and OWS: Scary
October 31, 2011
Beneficial cargo owners are rightfully concerned that the Occupy Wall Street movement may cause disruption at the nation’s seaports.
Not surprisingly, a splinter group – the Occupy Oakland Assembly – is leading the way with a call for a general strike at the port on Wednesday. The port has yet to provide the trade press with an update, and just how long and severe the shutdown might be remains a significant question.
Also unknown, is the role the International Longshore and Warehouse Union may play. As noted in this space before, the ILWU has expressed its solidarity with the movement, praising it for “inspiring millions of Americans.”
Given the fact that the Port of Oakland generates thousands of jobs, and has long been the economic engine for an otherwise depressed city, the movement’s target is ill-advised. Furthermore, such action may have long-term consequences for the port as it continues to compete for inbound ocean carrier calls on the West Coast. As our readers know, beneficial cargo owners are working on slender margins to begin with. How much longer will they be willing to put up with nonsense like this?
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