February 21, 2024
Containers are unloaded on the Port of Lengthy Seaside. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The Nationwide Retail Federation on Monday referred to as on President Biden to intervene in West Coast port labor negotiations after the most important terminal on the Port of Lengthy Seaside closed amid a standoff with dockworkers who’re rallying for higher pay.

Lengthy Seaside is the second-busiest U.S. container terminal and a key driver of financial exercise. Monday’s closure adopted comparable disruptions on Friday in Oakland.

Greater than 22,000 dockworkers at ports stretching from California to Washington state have been working and not using a contract since July. Contract talks are within the remaining stretch, however frustrations are working excessive after greater than a yr on the negotiating desk.

“We urge the (Biden) administration to mediate to make sure the events rapidly finalize a brand new contract with out extra disruptions,” stated David French, the retail group’s senior vp of presidency relations. That trade accounts for about half of the amount on the nation’s container ports and is gearing up for back-to-school, Christmas and key gross sales occasions.

The Port of Lengthy Seaside’s Whole Terminals Worldwide canceled appointments on Monday. That facility is majority owned by container transport large Mediterranean Delivery Firm.

Representatives from Whole Terminals and the Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union, representing some 22,000 West Coast dockworkers, didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Whole Terminals determined to shut on Monday “primarily based by itself operational wants,” stated port spokesperson Lee Peterson, who added that the port’s different terminals have been working and that cargo was shifting.

Pacific Container Terminal, owned by SSA Marine, was closed on Monday for regular operational causes having nothing to do with labor, terminal basic supervisor Randy Galosic instructed Reuters.

Terminals on the different main California ports in Los Angeles and Oakland have been open on Monday, representatives for these ports stated.

On Friday, Southern California’s ILWU Native 13 that represents roughly 12,000 longshoremen in Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside stated its rank-and-file union members “had taken it upon themselves to voice their displeasure with the ocean carriers’ and terminal operators’ place.”

ILWU stated staff have been important to conserving items shifting through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and wish to be compensated for placing their lives in danger throughout that point, when ocean carriers have been reaping file earnings.