Thursday, July 5, 2012
Portland longshoremen ordered by judge, arbitrator to pick up pace
One day after a federal judge ordered longshoremen at the Port of Portland to pick up the pace, an arbitrator was called in to repeat the order to quit impeding the work of the port.
Although U.S. Judge Michael Simon ruled to end the illegal slowdown on Tuesday, on Wednesday an arbitrator reported ILWU workers were still moving cargo at a sluggish rate. The arbitrator likewise ordered that work speed up to normal.
The Pacific Maritime Association arbitrator on Wednesday called witnesses, and ruled in favor of ICTSI Oregon, which runs the terminal.
The slowdown has caused a work back-up at Portland's Terminal 6 that has resulted in major shipping lines circumventing the Oregon port until the union tussle has been resolved.
The dispute concerns two reefer maintenance jobs that the longshoremen's union claim are in their jurisdiction because of new private terminal lease, although the jobs have been performed by the electrician's union for the past 40 years.
"Trucks moving containers within the yard are driving slow," reports a port spokesman, "and having issues queuing up properly at the cranes." He said longshoremen unloaded 15 containers an hour on Wednesday, compared to their usual rate of 27 containers an hour. At that rate, moving almost 500 containers in one day would be impossible, according to the port, which means the ship's departure might be delayed.
Union reps had no comment. Thursday is a holiday for longshoremen, since July 5 is when they memorialize the violent 1934 strike that led to the founding of their union.
On Tuesday Judge Simon had granted a motion, filed by the National Labor Relations Board, to impose a 10-day restraining order on the longshoremen, effectively ordering them to get back to business as usual and halt the slowdown until the dispute is resolved long-term.
For more of the Oregon Live story: www.oregonlive.com
More Newswire stories
China's coastal domestic fleet seeks international trade
First ship with Grand Alliance arrives at Port of Tacoma
FedEx expands global footprint with Brazilian logistics company
Freight train derails and collapses bridge in Chicago area (includes video link)
Today's Cargo News Archives