Slowdowns led to weekend closures at Port of Seattle, PMA says


The Port of Seattle was reportedly closed over the weekend, as another dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and their employers bubbled into slowdowns at marine terminals.

“On the second and third shift [Friday], work slowdowns directed by ILWU officials brought ground operations at marine terminals to a halt, resulting in longshore workers being sent home,” the Pacific Maritime Association said in a Saturday bulletin.

The union allegedly refused to dispatch workers during the first shift Saturday, leading the Port of Seattle to shut down, according to the employers association.

The ILWU countered the claims on Saturday evening.

“Despite what you are hearing from PMA, West Coast ports are open as we continue to work under our expired collective bargaining agreement,” the union said in a public statement.

The statement did not discuss the situation at individual ports, nor specifically comment on operations in Seattle.

PMA dispatch summaries suggested some work was performed at the port over the weekend, even if terminal operations were disrupted.

More than 300 jobs were filled between Friday evening and Saturday morning. In addition, Sunday dispatch records show several groups of longshore workers had worked on various vessels over the weekend.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, which represents the Washington ports of Seattle and Tacoma, did not immediately reply to a request for comment. As of Monday morning, gate cameras showed trucks lined up outside various terminals at the Port of Seattle and truck gates were marked as open, according to the alliance’s website.

The employers association and longshore union are in talks to renegotiate their contract covering more than 22,000 workers at 29 West Coast ports. Several ports have suffered from slowdowns and closures in recent weeks after negotiations broke down over a disagreement on pay as the parties entered their thirteenth month of bargaining.

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