ILWU Strike in Long Beach

For months we have been talking about the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) and negotiations that have been extended just short of the end 2012. And freight forwarders are keeping a close eye on this. In many people’s perceptions, if we were to see a strike at the major ports it would have been from the ILA, the east coast union. This past week however, clerical workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in the port of Long Beach and the port of Los Angeles have decided to strike which is creating a major problem for the shipping industry. Thankfully the peak shipping season has ended and the amount of containers moving through the port so much less than it could be, but this still creates a backup of containers that were set to go in and out of the ports.

According to the ILWU representatives, the negotiations were stuck on the position that jobs are being outsourced to other countries making less available to workers in Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. These clerical workers have been working without a contract for 30 months and are trying to make a point of what will happen without their presence. Normally, this would not seem like an appropriate action to take when you are trying to stop companies from outsourcing your jobs, but in this case, they have the support of other unions. If other unions were not unwilling cross picket lines, this ILWU strike would be senseless. As it stands, many ships have been diverted to other ports and companies are working around the strike for now. Should this be a prolonged strike, it could be devastating for the shipping industry. That is why an instant ocean freight quote can help save you time and money in case there is a long strike.