Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Report: Portland port's labor dispute talks underway; no containerships calling
The contentious three-week-old labor dispute at the Port of Portland that has pit the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and its employer group, the Pacific Maritime Association, against the Port of Portland and Manila-based terminal operator, ICTSI, has reportedly entered into a court-ordered discussion phase with former union advocate and Oregon governor, Ted Kulongoski presiding over the talks.
The dispute reportedly arose out of who has jurisdiction over the basic maintenance of refrigerated containers such as plugging and un-plugging the units, with the ILWU wanting two of those jobs even though the port has said members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have been performing those tasks for several years.
The use of IBEW workers was reportedly written into the port's contract with ICTSI when the facility operator took over operations at Terminal 6 two years ago.
Both sides have recently filed lawsuits against each other amid back and forth charges of intentional labor slowdowns contended by one side, and the use of un-safe reefer equipment by the other.
Two major container-shipping lines that serve the Port of Portland – Hanjin and Hapag Lloyd - announced they would call at the Port of Seattle to until there is a resolution of the dispute.
The Oregonian reported the cost to shippers to transport freight from Seattle to Portland brings an extra estimated cost, ranging from $600 to $1,000 per day.
For the full Oregonian story: www.oregonlive.com
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