Truck drivers may refuse to enter terminal at Port of Baltimore
- American Global Logistics (AGL) warned customers of a possible refusal by truck drivers to enter Seagrit Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore Wednesday.
- The truck drivers are caught in the middle of a labor dispute between the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and the Steamship Trade Association (STA), local Baltimore news station WBAL reported. Drivers said they spend up to seven hours waiting in their trucks at the Seagrit Marine Terminal.
- "We are having a demonstration outside the Seagirt Marine Terminal but it is NOT preventing trucks from entering the terminal and going about their business," Richard Scher, director of communications for the Maryland Port Administration, told Supply Chain Dive by email.
The truck drivers picking up and dropping off loads at the Port of Baltimore are not directly involved in an ongoing labor dispute, but the effects are rippling, creating long wait times at the Seagrit Marine Terminal.
The terminal closed to trucks for two hours last Thursday afternoon because of "ongoing labor job action" and issues between ILA and the STA, said Ports America Chesapeake, which manages the terminal, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The labor issues go back to October, when longshoremen represented by ILA Local 333 "all were absent for work or 'checked up' and left their jobs at noon," the STA wrote in a court document filed Oct. 29, 2018. "Without container handling operators storing and moving containers on the terminal lot, the operations at SMT come to a standstill – and that is what happened today."
In response, U.S. District Judge Ellen Lipton Hollander said the walk-off imposed "significant harm" to STA, the Port of Baltimore and several businesses. The labor action resulted in 1,100 truckers not receiving their cargo.
Hollander granted STA's request for a motion that would prevent union members from a strike or work stoppage. Without the motion, 3,300 truck drivers would not have received their cargo the following day, Hollander said.
While another work stoppage hasn't occurred, it appears labor issues continue to affect port operations today. "The Maryland Port Administration encourages both sides to reach an understanding for the good of the Port of Baltimore," Scher said.
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