Port of LA

Labor Shortage Closes Ports of LA and Long Beach for Second Day

Both parties are negotiating a new contracts with priorities in wages and the role of automation.

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A worker shortage at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continued Friday, marking a second day of closures for the country's largest gateway for maritime trade.

The shortage comes amid protracted labor negotiations between the union that represents West Coast dockworkers and the industry group representing shippers.

Both parties are negotiating a new contracts with priorities in wages and the role of automation.

The old contract with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired July 1.

"The largest ILWU local on the West Coast has taken a concerted action to withhold labor at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, resulting in widespread workers shortages,'' according to a statement from the Pacific Maritime Association, the industry group which represents shippers at the negotiating table.

"A majority of the jobs for last night's shift went unfilled, including all jobs for cargo-handling equipment operators needed to load and unload cargo. The workers who did show up were released because there was not a full complement of ILWU members to operate the terminals.''

International Longshore Warehouse Union Local 13 also withheld labor Friday morning, effectively shutting down the twin ports, officials said.

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According to PMA, the workers union's actions threaten to further accelerate the diversion of discretionary cargo to ports on the East and Gulf coasts.

ILWU officials did not immediately respond to calls or emails seeking comment.

Port of Los Angeles officials issued a statement Friday regarding the temporary San Pedro Bay Terminal closures, saying they are in communication with the ILWU and PMA, along with federal, state, and local officials, to support a return to normal operations in the ports.

"Resuming cargo operations at America's busiest port complex is critical to maintain the confidence of our customers and supply chain stakeholders,'' Port of L.A. officials said in a statement.

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