Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Business
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Hundreds of dockworkers briefly walk off jobs at ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach

Truck drivers and supporters picket outside the offices of Green Fleet Systems in Carson, Calif., on Monday, July 7, 2014. The truckers say the companies have prevented them from unionizing and improperly classified them as contractors, rather than full-time employees, to minimize wages and benefits. (AP Photo/Matt Hamilton)

Enlarge Image

Truck drivers and supporters picket outside the offices of Green Fleet Systems in Carson, Calif., on Monday, July 7, 2014. The truckers say the companies have prevented them from unionizing and improperly classified them as contractors, rather than full-time employees, to minimize wages and benefits. (AP Photo/Matt Hamilton)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - 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 labour 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.

___

Contact Justin Pritchard at https://twitter.com/lalanewsman .

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media

Canadian Mortgage Rates