Past events spur carrier fears of port labor conflict in US

Conflicts between US port workers and terminals have created serious problems for container lines before. The two parties will meet at the negotiating table again in 2022, and this time a labor conflict could make "a catastrophic situation even worse."

A port worker on strike at the Port of Los Angeles in 2012. | Photo: Nick Ut/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

US port workers' powerful labor union, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), is to negotiate a new collective agreement with employers in mid-2022, already fanning fears among container lines and other players in the supply chain currently struggling with bottlenecks and long lines of delayed vessels.

The port workers aren't afraid of going on strike when negotiations happen, which is casting a shadow on a container market otherwise hoping to move slightly toward normalcy in the coming year.

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