US Ports in Gridlock


As contract talks with the US Dockworkers’ Union remain tense, cargo traffic at several of the biggest US West Coast ports has slowed to near gridlock.

According to Reuters, union officials have blamed management for near gridlocks, saying that the issue was caused by cutting back on night shifts.

Management, however, blamed the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) for slowdowns, saying that this would give them a footing in contract talks.

Pacific Maritime Association Spokesman, Steve Getzug, said: “The ILWU slowdowns and the resulting operational environment are no longer sustainable.”

Union officials cite gridlocks as an issue caused by a shortage of tractor-trailer chassis and other management errors.

ILWU President, Bob McEllrath, said: “Longshore workers are ready, willing and able to clear the backlog created by the industry's poor decisions,” adding that gridlocks are occurring as a result of management’s decision to cut back on shifts at crucial times.

A federal mediator is currently negotiating contracts for around 20,000 dockworkers in a bid to resolve the dispute that has been ongoing since June, 2014.

The Port of Long Beach is one of several ports affected by union disputes. (Source: Gopixpic)

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