LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Negotiators for the clerical unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and The Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association were set to resume talks today in hopes of reaching a deal to end the strike crippling the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Nine terminals were shut down by the strike action yesterday. At least 18 ships at the harbors were not being serviced, port spokesmen said. About 70 clerical workers have been picketing seven of eight Los Angeles terminals and at least three of six Long Beach terminals even though an arbitrator ruled the walkout invalid on Tuesday. What has greatly escalated the situation is that dockworkers from the same union are refusing to cross the picket lines, shutting down cargo handling operations at the facilities.
The situation has not yet reached crisis proportions at the largest port complex in the US, but if the terminals remain closed through the weekend, some cargo interests and industry executives are predicting gridlock will result,” the Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association commented today. It added the main concern is that the backlog created each strike day will effectively choke the port before long.
The striking office clerical workers have been working without a contract since June 2010. They process shipping documents for the terminal operators and the shipping lines which call on them.