Labor Dispute Closes Port of Oakland for a few Hours Port of Oakland

Labor Dispute Closes Port of Oakland for a few Hours

Twenty two workers were fired when they did not agree to begin work at 6:45 a.m. instead of the usual 7 a.m. start time.  Another 44 workers slowed or stopped working in support of their colleagues.

Cargo handling was disrupted on March 28, as operations were completely halted at one of the terminals at the East Bay cargo hub at the Port of Oakland.

Daytime operations were suspended at the Oakland International Container Terminal according to Michael Zampa, a spokesman for the Port of Oakland.

The shutdown was a result of a labor dispute over a 15-minute change in the workday, as reported by Steve Rubenstein of SF Gate.  The shutdown left one ship idle and caused a long lineup of tracks on roads to the dock.

Sources told Rubenstein that 22 workers were fired when they did not agree to begin work at 6:45 a.m. instead of the usual 7 a.m. start time.  Another 44 workers slowed or stopped working in support of their colleagues.

“The company refused to honor the start time in our contract,” said  Craig Merrilees, a spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The union called in an arbitrator, who ruled that firing of the 22 workers was improper and that the work slowdown and stoppage by the other 44 workers was also improper. It was  determined that they could return to the job March 29 and be paid for March hours.

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