U.S. District Judge Michael Simon said the slowdown staged by longshore workers has caused economic harm to the region and the suffering will only get worse without a quick resolution... The slowdown involves a dispute between members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers over which union workers should plug-in and unplug refrigerated shipping containers known as reefers. Go To Site

While the various factions await court action, millions of dollars in goods remain clogged up at Terminal 6 and at least one shipping company has decided to avoid the mess. Hapag-Lloyd, a German steamship line, alerted freight forwarders that the cargo vessel Cape Mayor would not make its scheduled trip to Portland, an action first reported by The Oregonian newspaper. The Portland-bound containers are expected to arrive in Oakland, Calif., where they will then be transported by truck or rail. Go To Site

"Because workers of the world unite, it's not just a slogan anymore." - Andy Stern, SEIU President Go To Site

Union, Character, Oops, Economy, Jobs

PORTLAND — A seemingly minor dispute over which union workers should plug in and unplug refrigerated shipping containers has ignited a two-week slowdown at the Port of Portland, disrupting businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest. Truck drivers were backed up for miles Tuesday as longshoremen reportedly worked at a sharply reduced pace at the Port’s Terminal 6, the smallest of the six container-shipping ports on the West Coast. Moreover, a cargo ship scheduled to arrive in Portland today has decided to drop its load elsewhere.

Union, Character, Funny, Economy

The dispute is over the equivalent of two full-time jobs. The electrical workers have maintained the reefers for decades under an agreement with the Port of Portland. The question of whether they should continue to perform it has arisen because the port decided in 2010 to lease Terminal 6 operations to a private firm, ICTSI Oregon Inc., a subsidiary of a company in the Philippines. The 25-year lease includes language that the reefer jobs belonged to electrical workers. But now that a private company is in control, the longshoremen say the jobs must switch to them because of the collective bargaining agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association that covers all West Coast ports. It states that longshoremen maintain the reefers.

Union, Character, Economy, Jobs

Two gangs, or work groups, of longshoreman were working in Terminal 6, where a three-week standoff between the longshore union and an electricians' union and other problems have backed up freight across the Northwest and beyond... Managers of Hanjin, a South Korean steamship line, say their vessels will bypass Portland after the Madrid departs, until the dispute is settled. Hapag-Lloyd ships will also skip Portland.

Union, Oops, Economy, Jobs

An ongoing labor dispute has caused the Port of Portland to temporarily lose the services one of one of its biggest shipping partners. South Korean shipping line Hanjin on Thursday decided it would not call on the Port of Portland next week and will likely stay away until the labor fight at the port’s Terminal 6 container facility is resolved. Hanjin moves 2,000 containers per week through Portland, according to Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt, making its loss one of the biggest casualties so far in the dispute between the longshore union and terminal operator ICTSI Oregon Inc. over which union has the rights to the two to four jobs plugging and unplugging refrigerated container units.