Operations at the nation’s major container ports on the West Coast have been disrupted as more than 22,000 union dockworkers across 29 ports from California to Washington fail to reach a deal over wages with their employers.
On June 2, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union first staged disruptive work actions “that have effectively shut down operations” at some marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the Pacific Maritime Association. Similar work actions by the union shut down or severely impacted terminal operations at the Ports of Oakland and Hueneme in Southern California, and Tacoma and Seattle in Washington.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that some terminals in Southern California were moving at “half of the velocity” as normal and closing truck shifts, or that international operations were closed for a period of time.
At least one terminal operator, and the largest at the Port of Long Beach, announced truck operations would be closed on June 5, according to a CNBC report. Work stoppages and slowdowns are driven by some longshoremen not showing up for work at the port.
Likewise at the Port of Oakland, CNBC reported that no longshoremen have reported to work since June 1.
The West Coast union’s labor agreement expired in July 2022, and while the WSJ reported progress has been made on certain terms for the nearly year-long negotiation, the parties have struggled to reach a deal over wages.
A drayage and intermodal executive in the CNBC report warned that moderate port stoppages on the coast could lead to a backup in picking up containers and the need for more trucks, effectively increasing shipping costs.