Labor dispute shuts L.A., Long Beach ports

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 1,000 dockworkers briefly walked off their jobs Tuesday at the massive ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, disrupting the movement of international cargo before a mediator ordered them back.

The action came as the union representing dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports negotiates a new contract, but it was not directly related to those talks. Instead, workers left their posts at four of the ports’ 14 terminals in solidarity with truck drivers involved in a separate dispute.

The West Coast waterfront has an acrimonious labor history, including in 2002 when employers alleged longshoremen were deliberately slowing down work and locked them out for 10 days, costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars.

During this year’s negotiations, both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific the Maritime Association, which represents international shipping lines and port terminal operators, have said they do not want disruptions in trade.

On Tuesday morning, however, union members at three terminals in Los Angeles and one in Long Beach walked out after pickets representing truck drivers set up lines at six terminals. A spokeswoman for the drivers, Barb Maynard, said pickets targeted the terminals after trucks from three companies they have been trying to unionize went there to load or drop off containers.

Within two hours, an arbitrator ruled that a walkout in solidarity was not permissible and ordered dockworkers to resume loading and unloading ships. By afternoon, the flow of cargo was returning to normal. In all, about 900 workers walked off, maritime association spokesman Steve Getzug said.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the primary West Coast gateway for hundreds of billions of dollars of annual trade with Asia.

While their six-year contract initially expired Monday, the maritime association and union extended it until Friday. That reinstated the arbitration process and the ability of employers to force dockworkers back to their posts — a process that disappears when the contract is not in place.

More in Herald Business Journal

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Providence said to be in talks for merger with Ascension

The two Catholic health organizations have been exploring joining forces, sources say.

Hospital companies merge as insurers encroach on their turf

An anticipated deal between Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension is only the latest.

DaVita to sell off medical groups including The Everett Clinic

Another round of health care consolidation means The Everett Clinic could soon get new ownership.

Engine trouble hits Air New Zealand’s 787 Dreamliners

A Rolls-Royce engine was shut down and was afterward found to be seriously damaged.

Washington, Amazon sue company over seller training programs

Braintree is accused of using deceptive ads promising information on how to make money on Amazon.

Lockheed-Martin dominates global arms sales, Boeing is 2nd

The combined sales of U.S.-based companies totaled $217 billion.

The Marine Corps’ version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is designed to land vertically like a helicopter. (Lockheed Martin)
F-35 fighter costs, $1 trillion over 60 years, draw scrutiny

Pentagon’s ability to repair F-35 parts at military depots is six years behind schedule.

Most Read