Several terminals at the Port of Oakland were shut down for most of the day Wednesday after workers affiliated with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union walked off the job over a local contract dispute.
Three terminals — Oakland International Container Terminal, Everport and TraPac — shut down during the day shift after the unexpected labor action, port spokesperson Marilyn Sandifur said in an email. The terminals resumed operations for the night shift, which began at 6 p.m. yesterday. Normal operations are expected on Thursday.
The labor action began at 8 a.m. and targeted the terminals that move goods internationally, Sandifur said. Matson terminal, which handles domestic operations, remained open throughout the day.
While the ILWU represents port labor across the West Coast, a union spokesperson confirmed the workers protesting Wednesday did so as a local chapter rather than a union-wide effort. ILWU Local 34 covers marine clerks in Oakland, according to the union’s website. Union chapter representatives could not be reached for comment as of Thursday morning.
Scheduled terminal closures can be a common occurrence at ports. Some terminals, for example, will close once a month to facilitate internal labor meetings. But when unexpected — like the Port of Oakland shutdowns in July over AB5 — they can have major effects on operations.
“The ILWU Clerk’s Local 34 in Oakland took actions this morning to shut down terminals throughout the Port of Oakland without warning,” the Pacific Maritime Association said in a statement. “Taking an action to shut down the port impacts workers and businesses far beyond the terminals themselves. Discussions with Local 34 took place today. This apparent attempt to try to exact leverage in local negotiations is counterproductive.”
The PMA represents West Coast marine terminals in contract talks with the ILWU. Union leadership and the terminal employers represented by the PMA have been in negotiations over a master contract since May, but talks have stalled recently.