Port workers resume work in Oakland

Oakland container terminal is now again operational after workers threw a wrench into loading and unloading activities. Contract negotiations still ongoing.

Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Port workers at the biggest terminal in the Port of Oakland, US, have resumed work after protests, reports Journal of Commerce.

On Monday, the same workers had de facto ceased work after lengthy contract negotiations between their union, ILWU, and the Pacific Maritime Association, the employers’ representative and union of large container carriers like Maersk.

The media reports that the workers managed this by putting red stickers on all equipment in the Oakland International Container Terminal, thereby signaling that an inspection by a mechanic had to be performed.

An anonymous source described this as a ”maneuver” that practically shut down all loading and unloading activities.

In the course of late Monday hours, work resumed. On Tuesday, the terminal was once again fully operational, according to the Journal of Commerce.

70 percent of volumes entering the port are handled here, making the terminal the busiest in Oakland, located near San Francisco, California.

The US West Coast has been strongly challenged by the pandemic, and problems have largely centered on busy ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach. Congestion and large freight volumes have resulted in long queues of ships, which have been brought down considerably during the second half of the year.

A new contract for the workers was meant to have been negotiated by July 1, but talks between the ILWU and Pacific Maritime Association have prolonged, which have given rise to fears that workers might strike. Shippers have consequently moved parts of freight to the US east coast instead.

English edit: Daniel Pedersen

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