West Coast Port Disruptions Continue Amid Labor Talks

Some Operations Shut Down at Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach
Port of Long Beach
Nick Souza for Port of Long Beach

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At least one terminal at the Port of Los Angeles canceled some cargo operations June 5 as disruptions that hit several key U.S. West Coast ports last week appear to continue amid labor contracts negotiations.

One port operator, Fenix Marine Services, said in a notice to truckers that “due to unforeseen circumstances, FMS will have to cancel import appointments in certain areas.” The company had canceled work on June 2 due to “a disruption” in gate and yard operations that prevented drivers from accessing imports.

The terminal had planned to open normally on June 5, according to its website.

Total Terminals International, or TTI, at the Port of Long Beach canceled June 5 morning operations, according to a notice sent June 4 to truckers, without providing a reason.

Meanwhile, labor shortages that effectively shut Oakland’s international terminals on June 2 have been resolved. “The Port of Oakland’s marine terminals are operational today,” Director of Communications Robert Bernardo said in an email.

Dockworkers and their employers have been holding labor contract negotiations for over a year.

The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents ocean carriers and terminal operators, said June 2 that the dockworkers union “effectively shut down some terminals across every major container gateway on the U.S. West Coast.”

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said in its own statement June 2 that cargo operations at L.A. and Long Beach ports continued, but that members in Southern California had “taken it upon themselves to voice their displeasure with the ocean carriers’ and terminal operators’ position.”

The White House, Labor Department and Transportation Department are monitoring the situation and encouraging the parties to work toward a mutually beneficial resolution on a labor agreement, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The ILWU, which represents about 22,000 dockworkers on the U.S. West Coast, has been negotiating a new labor contract with the PMI since May last year. The previous contract expired on July 1, 2022.

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