Dock-talks update: Terminal operators shutting down ship offloading today, 3 of next 4 days

As the contract-talks stalemate continues at West Coast ports, the Pacific Maritime Association says terminal operators will do for four more days what it did last weekend – suspend offloading of ships. Those days are today, Saturday, Sunday, Monday – holiday/weekend days when longshore workers would be paid at a higher rate. The announcement from the PMA also takes issue with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union‘s claim earlier this month that the two sides are close. In response, the ILWU issued this statement alleging the PMA “grossly mischaracterize(d)” the union’s “current bargaining position” and saying the employers had canceled a negotiating session set for yesterday afternoon.

22 Replies to "Dock-talks update: Terminal operators shutting down ship offloading today, 3 of next 4 days"

  • Sounds familiar February 12, 2015 (9:39 am)


  • miws February 12, 2015 (9:50 am)

    Union Blaming for PMA’s decision of another shutdown in 3…2…1…



  • dis February 12, 2015 (10:19 am)

    it’s not a strike

    • WSB February 12, 2015 (10:25 am)

      The ILWU news release linked therein makes that clear.

  • Nick February 12, 2015 (10:59 am)

    Can we just automate the offloading.

  • Nick February 12, 2015 (11:05 am)

    $280,000 in total compensation for average worker and this Union wants more. Wait til the canal is widened this port will be so uncompetitive the union will bargain themselves out of existence. both sides seem out of touch with reality honestly I don’t get it

  • Craig February 12, 2015 (12:19 pm)

    Second the automation of offloading. The passive aggressive and ongoing temper tantrum that the ILWU is in right now is hard to be sympathetic to.

    “Longshoremen on the U.S. West Coast earn an average of $98,603 a year including two and a half weeks of vacation on average.”

  • Les February 12, 2015 (1:14 pm)

    An average wage of $47.40 an hour plus excellent benefits.
    I guess it is true that you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone

  • Frank February 12, 2015 (1:33 pm)

    Another blatant sabotage by the PMA to gain public support without giving all the details. They fail to mention that these days they are closed Thursday and Monday are holidays and although won’t be paying time and a half they will be paying the workers for the holiday itself. Also fail to mention that this morning at midnight 14,000 west coast longshore workers were issued their vacation checks. So as the work force sits ready and willing to work the PMA makes another decision to halt movement of cargo thus increasing and intensifying the already unmanageable gridlock and back log of shipments. Automation is a option but risky! As proven by the Bertha tunnel project, cracked pontoons on the floating bridge, power outages from a heavy rain or high winds, the region and its elements are not favorable. Robotics, electronics and other infrastructure necessary to perform the daily tasks on the docks don’t seem to function efficiently if at all in the rain, fog etc…

  • higgins February 12, 2015 (2:27 pm)

    I understand that Monday is President’s Day, but what holiday is today?

    • WSB February 12, 2015 (3:03 pm)

      Higgins, according to the PMA news release, linked above (as is the ILWU’s news release), Lincoln’s Birthday is a holiday as is the Monday observation of Washington’s Birthday. Maybe someone in the maritime industry can verify that – I didn’t have the chance to try to find a calendar.

  • JanS February 12, 2015 (2:32 pm)

    aw, gee, 2 1/2 weeks of vacation…how terribly extravagant. No one needs that much, do they, Craig?

    And, heaven forbid these workers get more than, oh, say, 50K per year doing the gravy job they do…who do these upstarts think they are? Of, course, that money needs to go into the coffers of the higher ups…you know, management..the ones who call the shots but don’t do the hard work…

    And, referring back to Mike’s post above..

  • Brewmeister February 12, 2015 (3:06 pm)

    Call it whatever name you want, label it anyway you like, it’s a strike.

  • Mike February 12, 2015 (5:46 pm)

    Pay them, fire them, automate it, the end.

  • Buck February 12, 2015 (5:47 pm)

    It is not a strike. This is a modified lockout that has been going on since the PMA cut night work.

  • Tony February 12, 2015 (7:49 pm)

    @mike- right lets fire a bunch of hard working Americans that are looking for democracy in the work place. I’m sure if given a choice workers would love a career with no representation where they’re bullied whenever management seems fit.

  • onion February 12, 2015 (8:42 pm)

    Do I care who “wins” this dispute? No. Between management and labor both should compromise. The big losers until that happens are small businesses and the community. A pox on both labor and management.

  • Myrna Hoffman February 15, 2015 (6:43 pm)

    I agree with onion about small business suffering! My first shipment to Singapore cannot move until this is settled.

    First Boeing, now this? C’mon guys, settle this thing. You’re not helping the economy.

  • higgins February 16, 2015 (2:13 pm)

    Lincoln’s Birthday? Give me a break! That’s only a state holiday in seven states, and Washington is not one of them. Makes me wonder what other obscure holidays are included in the ILWU contract, and how much extra pay they get for these “holidays”.

  • Mike February 18, 2015 (9:24 am)

    And businesses who use these ports of course will end up paying the price. We have to air-freight in shipments at 10x the cost to fill demand, while any cost increase of any eventual settlement between the two parties will be passed on to us as cost increases.

    What time is it? Taft-Hartley time.

  • higgins February 19, 2015 (3:43 pm)

    Thanks WSB, this was a fascinating read! I laughed out loud when I got to the section about holidays: Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Cesar Chavez’ Birthday, Bloody Thursday, and Harry Bridges’ Birthday are all on the list (15 holidays total). Harry Bridges is the founder of the ILWU. On these days longshoremen get paid time and a half.

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