Editor's note: We followed-up with several ports and experts to better understand the day's events. Take a look at the subsequent story.
Labor shortages at several West Coast ports led to limited terminal operations on Friday morning.
The Port of Oakland and Port of Los Angeles had limited some terminal operations, spokespeople at the two ports confirmed. At Oakland’s seaport, the shut downs are affecting primarily the international terminals, but the domestic terminal Matson has limited operations.
The Port of Long Beach did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The terminal closures come as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association are negotiating revisions to a coast-wide master contract. Talks have now been ongoing for more than a year, but prior to the terminal disruptions, negotiators had said they were optimistic that a deal could come soon.
The ILWU declined to comment for this story, citing a media blackout agreed upon with the PMA. On Friday afternoon, the employers’ association shared a statement.
“Today, the ILWU is staging concerted and disruptive work actions that have effectively shut down operations at some marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” the PMA wrote. “The Union is also staging similar work actions that have shut down or severely impacted terminal operations at the Ports of Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Hueneme.”
ILWU Local 13 President Gary Ferrero said in a text it is “not true” that there is a work stoppage, and shared a statement from the local chapter, which covers longshore workers in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The statement notes that ocean carriers have gained massive profits from record-breaking cargo volumes during the pandemic while the ILWU’s requests have been ignored.
“However, cargo operations in the ports continue as longshore workers remain on the job to move the nation’s cargo, as they have done valiantly for decades,” the local chapter said in the statement.