It has been a fun week in Oakland. Wednesday morning November 2nd, Local 34 (clerks) picketed outside the terminal gates. Local 10 (crane operators) did not cross the line and eventually went home. The pickets started at Everport, moved to TraPac and then on to SSA, effectively shutting down international terminal operations for the day.
The crux of the dispute was pay. Apparently, a member of Local 34 has not been receiving travel pay between Oakland and Stockton.
Meanwhile, the coastwide negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are at a stalemate over jurisdiction.
The ILWU is reportedly digging in their heels over maintenance and repair jobs that have traditionally been performed by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
The dispute between the two unions has been going on for a long time and was the subject of a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling in favor of the IAM.
The ILWU is calling foul and claiming the PMA is not following through on their commitment to back the ILWU in such complaints.
The negotiations are currently on pause while the NLRB reviews the ILWU’s claim to the mechanic jobs of plugging and unplugging vessels from shoreside power in Seattle.
Meanwhile, operations at West Coast ports are slower than usual, incurring periodic disruptions (like the one on Tuesday), and cargo continues to be diverted to Gulf and East Coast ports.