The biggest terminal operator at the Port of Long Beach closed yesterday for both day and night shifts, the result of a continued labor dispute, according to CNBC.
What’s going on: Total Terminals International canceled all trucking orders for imports and exports Monday morning. This followed similar operational disruptions at additional terminals that began last Friday and continued through the weekend.
- On Sunday, “the longshoremen called ‘dailies’ who fill in daily positions” did not come to work at either the Long Beach or Los Angeles ports.
The background: Work-contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association—dockworkers and their employer, respectively—have been ongoing since May 2022.
- The dockworkers have been operating without a contract since last July.
- Though announcements in recent months indicate that a long-term contract resolution may be forthcoming, the latest action by union members is the most public pushback offered by either side to date.
Why it’s important: “Harbor Trucking Association, a coalition representing intermodal carriers who move containers at the West Coast ports, told CNBC that policies at each terminal at every port vary, so if one terminal allows trucks to enter and pick up containers left stranded on Friday, other terminals won’t necessarily follow. Longshoremen prepare the containers for each day’s pickup.”
- Smaller-scale work stoppages like this one will have a ripple effect that sets back shippers and truckers and ultimately costs consumers more, a logistics-company source told the news outlet.
The NAM’s view: The NAM has long urged the Biden administration to intervene in the stalled contract talks.
- “Operational disruptions at West Coast ports affirms the urgent need for @WhiteHouse action to resolve this labor negotiation,” tweeted NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “@ShopFloorNAM has been calling for such action for more than a year & will continue urging federal officials to intervene & prevent further economic harm.”
- Citing an NAM economic study which found that even a short, localized port shutdown could mean almost $500 million of lost economic activity a day, Timmons continued, “Any actions that impair the ability of manufacturers in the U.S. to produce and ship essential products will exacerbate inflation and economic strife in communities across the country.”
- “Manufacturers implore the @WhiteHouse to bring negotiating parties together and reopen America’s shipping gateways on the West Coast,” he concluded.