Labor problems NOT the root cause of US port delays + Labor Secretary issues ultimatum! + more

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong). Cargo trucks wait in line to enter the Port of Long Beach, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Long Beach, Calif. Seaports in the U.S. West Coast that were all but shut over the weekend because of a contract dispute are reopening as the ...
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A labor dispute slowed America’s ports to a halt. But there’s an even bigger problem,Washington Post

Share this article with people who buy into the scapegoating of the longshoremen’s union for a logistics problem caused by the shippers and the ports.

Also, see our earlier post on this subject: Are American workers being blamed for bad decisionmaking at US ports?

Breaking news –> Labor Secretary gives both sides of West Coast port dispute Friday deadline for settlement, Associated Press (KPLC News)

In a late night phone call, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said he will summon both sides to Washington for negotiations if the management/labor dispute is not settled by Friday.

As port dispute drags on, labor secretary urges ‘immediate agreement’, LA Times

This LA Times article is most interesting for its description of the PMA charges against the dockworkers union for ‘withholding skilled labor’.  The union’s response:

“The local union in L.A. and Long Beach has said it’s only limiting crane operators without proper certification for safety reasons after several accidents. The union charges that employers aren’t training enough operators and could fill the missing positions with their own employees, instead of workers from the union dispatch hall.”

Port dispute is felt all along West Coast, LA Times

While it is unfortunate that the headline implies labor problems are the primary cause of port congestion, the article does a good job of describing some of the impacts – including West Coast fruit arriving in Asia two months late!

A US port slowdown is disrupting Chinese New Year on both sides of the Pacific, Quartz

Though they don’t accurately address the causes of port congestion, the folks at Quartz vividly illustrate the impacts on small businesses – and an international holiday.