Disclaimer

The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Drivers suffering as delays continue to clog ports

From The Hill:

Drayage, the business of carrying cargo containers by truck from a port terminal to a distribution center, warehouse, or rail ramp, is in a god-awful mess right now at ports from California to New Jersey.

The problems:

Shortages of chassis and dislocations of chassis, meaning that chassis are in the wrong places [...]

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Port labor dispute sizzles with mediator, warehouse lawsuit

From Land Line Magazine:

If the mediation settles problems with warehouse workers and the maritime association, don’t expect all labor problems surrounding the twin ports to stop.

In December, five employees filed a lawsuit against California Cartage Co. and two staffing services for alleged violations of Los Angeles’s living wage ordinance. The suit comes on [...]

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Federal mediator to help West Coast ports contract dispute

From the Associated Press:

A federal mediator is getting involved in stalled contract talks between West Coast dockworkers and their employers.

Political and financial pressure has been building as each side blamed the other for the slow movement of billions of dollars of cargo across the docks at 29 seaports that are a vital trade [...]

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Chassis maintenance and repair a main culprit of ILWU-PMA impasse

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

Contract negotiations resumed Monday between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association after the holiday recess, but it appears that no significant progress will be made until both parties agree to compromise on the controversial issue of chassis maintenance and repair.

Until this year, shipping [...]

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Congressman: Reducing night shifts will increase congestion; PMA must bring decision makers to table

News release from Congressman Alan Lowenthal:

Congressman Alan Lowenthal says reducing LA/LB port night shifts will increase port congestion; urges PMA and ILWU to redouble efforts on contract talks

”Coming to an agreement on a new contract must involve key decision makers from both sides. The ILWU leadership is sitting at the table [...]

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SoCal ports seek to relieve congestion by fixing chassis crisis

Excerpts from an Apparel News article titled ‘Longshore union wants to see more shipping line honchos at the negotiating table’:

A shortage of chassis to transport the cargo containers to rail yards and warehouses has been a problem for months as shipping lines got out of the chassis business. Now four companies lease out chassis, [...]

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ILWU calls for the direct participation of key PMA decision makers in negotiations

SAN FRANCISCO (December 29, 2014) – The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said today that the PMA member carriers sitting on PMA’s Board of Directors need to come to the negotiating table so that direct and constructive dialogue between key decision makers can take place. “Both sides need the right people in the room [...]

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Powder keg at the ports

In an editorial earlier this month, the Journal of Commerce outlined the numerous factors of congestion at West Coast and global ports. Excerpts:

For some, one-time factors such as the Manila truck restrictions and West Coast longshore negotiations can be dismissed as events that create short-term disruption, but, in fact, those two examples only served [...]

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Why Obama hasn’t rushed to rescue US West Coast ports

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

The national media have hit the issue, but those stories are generally relegated outside the front pages. For most media, particularly TV journalism, the story lost some sparkle once it lost that “man on the street” impact. Most of the public remains unaware of West Coast port congestion.

Ask [...]

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Sides ‘far apart’ in West Coast port negotiations

Excerpts from the Associated Press:

While West Coast seaports struggle to keep up with billions of dollars of cargo, dockworkers and their employers apparently aren’t close to a new contract nearly six months after their old deal expired.

While work speed has been an issue in several major ports, so has an ongoing lack of [...]

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ILWU recesses caucus, awaits PMA response to contract proposal

The Journal of Commerce reported on Tuesday:

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union today recessed the caucus that it opened on Monday as the union awaited a response from the Pacific Maritime Association on its latest contract proposal.

Last Thursday, the PMA presented a new contract offer to the ILWU. Union negotiators reviewed the proposal [...]

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ILWU frustrated by shippers’ finger-pointing

Excerpts from The Stand’s interview with Dean McGrath, President of ILWU Local 23 at the Port of Tacoma:

“You have to be familiar with global shipping to understand a lot of this,” McGrath said. “When I explain it to reporters, their eyes just glaze over.”

For example, the chassis — the wheeled trailers used to [...]

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Sydney dockworkers to ILWU: ”We will fight alongside you all the way”

The Maritime Union of Australia Sydney Branch wholeheartedly stands in solidarity with our ILWU Sisters and Brothers. The relationship between our two Unions stretches back decades and has been one built on a united effort to maintain and advance the working and living conditions of dockworkers in our respective countries and around the world.

[...]

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Negotiations ongoing; causes of congestion are numerous

Excerpts from a News Tribune article titled ”Port productivity remains subpar”:

Craig Merrilees, a spokesman for the union, said the employers are unfairly scapegoating the union as the source of the lowered productivity. Merrilees said container handling worldwide has encountered major problems as a result of several factors including the shipping lines’ use of larger [...]

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‘Progress has been made’ as West Coast port negotiations continue

Excerpts from ”New talks Tuesday will try to resolve West Coast port terminals dispute” by KIRO Radio in Seattle:

After weeks of lost productivity, backlogs and finger-pointing, contract talks resume Tuesday between west coast terminal operators and union Longshore members in Seattle and elsewhere, who are working without a contract.

“It’s a much more [...]

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