LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Longshoremen and other workers shut down trade at several terminals at the Port of Los Angeles on Friday after breaking off labor contract negotiations, a port official said.
Four terminals were closed for the day and trucks were diverted from the port after clerical workers affiliated with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union began their informational picket, spokesman Phillip Sanfield told KNX 1070.
“They’re office clerks who’ve been negotiating with their employers — which are not the Port of Los Angeles — for quite a while,” said Sanfield.
Cargo handlers at the port have also walked off their jobs in support of the clerks.
Even with Christmas only a few weeks away, the timing could have been a whole lot worse, said Journal of Commerce’s Bill Mongelluzzo.
“The way the shipping industry works, the Christmas merchandise actually comes in in August, September, October, and by now it’s down to a trickle,” said Mongelluzzo. “No time is a good time, but it could have been worse had it happened four to five weeks ago.”
An arbitrator has been called in to determine whether the picket line is contractually legitimate.