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 January 16, 2015       


Operators at Ports of L.A., Long Beach ordered to stop unloading ships at night

Posted: January 16, 2015


 A labor dispute between terminal operators at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and their workers took another turn today, with operators being ordered to completely stop loading and unloading ships at night, starting Tuesday night.

The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping companies operating West Coast port terminals, said their members will not be assigning any vessel gangs to move cargo off of and onto ships at night, in order to focus on reducing an ever expanding pile of cargo containers they contend is the result of an intentional work slowdown tactic by the dock workers union.

Crane operators that would normally work with the vessel gangs will instead by moving containers out of the shipping yards and onto trucks that will take the goods to their destination, PMA officials said.

“It’s designed to get containers that have been stranded moving,” PMA spokesman Steve Getzug said.

Daytime vessel gangs, and some night workers on the yard and at the gates, would not be affected by PMA’s order, he said.

PMA has been locked in contentious negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13, the representatives of which have denied initiating a work slowdown tactic.

The union is only allowing trained and certified crane operators to work at the terminals, according to Adan Ortega, a spokesman for the ILWU.

Ortega said terminal operators are not offering enough training for workers and have become “over-reliant on untrained and uncertified crane operators.”

Getzug dismissed the claim that only certified crane operators should be working on the yards, and contends the dock workers union covering for their oft-used negotiating tactic of slowing down work at the ports.

Getzug said they have been responding to the so-called work slowdown by reducing work crews, as there is no point in filling up shipping yards that are not being emptied.

On New Year’s Eve, PMA ordered that the three vessel gangs being assigned to each ship be reduced to just one gang, and today all vessel gangs were eliminated.

ILWU representatives said ships are normally assigned six to eight vessel crews.

Ortega said the PMA’s decision to relieve even more workers tonight “defies logic” and will only lead to the “mountain of containers growing higher and higher.”

Ortega of ILWU said they are telling the dock workers who typically work at night that they can try to show up in the morning to see if they can get work during the day shifts, but it would mean “everyone shares the pain.”




Our regulatory experts are monitoring the situation and keeping a close eye on labor negotiations, which began on May 12, 2014. In the meantime we are checking shipment status on a daily/hourly basis to see where our client’s cargo stands in movement towards its final destination. While we can’t control the situation we can keep you informed.


 The information contained in this newsletter has been compiled from various industry newsletters and other public sources. While we use reasonable efforts to furnish accurate and up-to-date information Page & Jones, Inc. is not liable or responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any information contained herein.


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