West Coast Port Shut Down for Four of the Next Five Days

The PMA announced a suspension of vessel operations for four out of the next five days, effectively causing a West Coast port shut down, similar to last weekend. The affected days are Thursday, February 12th (Lincoln’s birthday), Saturday, February 14th, Sunday, February 15th, and Monday, February 16th (Washington’s birthday). Suspension of vessel operations means that vessels will not be loaded or unloaded during this time period. According to the PMA, “yard, gate, and rail operations will continue at terminal operators’ discretion”.

This comes after the PMA put forth a comprehensive offer to the ILWU, to which the ILWU came back with demands the PMA cannot meet. “The Union is demanding the right to fire any arbitrator who rules against them at the end of each contract period, even though those arbitrators are the referees who keep West Coast ports operating smoothly.”

The PMA says that it cannot justify holiday pay expenditures for less work as ILWU members continue their 4-month work slow-downs. “What they’re doing amounts to a strike with pay, and we will reduce the extent to which we pay premium rates for such a strike.”

The shut down on the West Coast means that importers and exporters with shipments transiting these ports will see little or no movement of containers until at least Tuesday.

We will continue to monitor the conditions of the ports and the contract negotiations. If you have any questions or need alternative routings for upcoming shipments, please let us know.  We very much appreciate your business.

Click here for Robert McEllrath, President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, video address to Union members.

Click here for the Pacific Maritime Association’s statement.