The US West Coast Port of Oakland once again saw its Oakland International Container Terminal suspend yard and gate operations yesterday afternoon for the remainder of the day, after longshoremen who refused to work due to a dispute over staffing levels were dismissed, the port said in a notice.
The new disruption comes a few days after the port reported a reduction in cargo backlog created by a labor contract dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing employers at 29 US West Coast ports. The parties signed a new labor contract back in February.
Labor-management disputes created a logjam at all major West Coast ports over the last three months. The result was a coast-wide delay in releasing import containers to customers. At Oakland there was also a lag in placing loaded boxes on ships.
The port planned to clear the cargo backup resulting from nine months of bargaining disputes in the next two months, but the latest disruption will only add to the existing congestion.
The port saw its January cargo volumes dip by 32% compared to the same period in 2013.