Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Longshore Strike Enters Seventh Day

Workers continued to strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Monday.

UPDATE | Dec. 3, 2012, 3:11 P.M. PST: Monday marks the seventh day of an International Longshore and Warehouse Union strike that has shut down ten ports across Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The strike is days away from topping 2002's record-breaking 10-day shutdown, which caused major disruptions in the trade industry and cost the U.S. around $1 billion per day.

Many trade officials are worried that the strike will cause severe damage to the country's already-fragile economy and are calling to the President to help remedy the situation.

"An extended strike this time could have a greater impact considering the fragile state of the U.S. economy," said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay in a Nov. 29 letter to President Obama. "We call upon you to use all means necessary to get the two sides back to the negotiating table."

White Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to the issue in a press conference Monday and encouraged both sides to end the strike quickly.

"I can just tell you that we -- and that includes the president --continue to monitor the situation in Los Angeles closely and urge the parties to continue their work at the negotiating table to get a deal done as quickly as possible," Carney said.

After a weekend of negotiations, the ILWU resumed meetings with shipping lines and terminal operators at 10 a.m. on Monday. So far, no compromise has been reached.

LA Mayor Antontio Villaraigosa has also called for more urgent bargaining between the parties, citing a multi-billion dollar loss to the local economy.

"The cost is too great to continue down this failed [negotiation] path," Villaraigosa said in a statement to Stephen L. Berry, chief negotiator for the employers group, and John Fageaux, Jr., president of the union's clerical group.

UPDATE | Nov. 29, 2012 4:05 P.M. PST: Both parties involved in the three-day long strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have announced that they have agreed to resume talks this evening.

The Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz released a statement about the port labor dispute saying, "It's essential that both sides int his labor dispute return to the negotiating table and resolve this now. We are starting to see ships divert to other ports, including Mexico. This dispute has impacted not only our Port work force, but all stakeholders who ship goods thought our complex and potentially the hundreds of thousands of jobs that are directly and indirectly related to port operations. In today's shipping environment, we can't afford to lose cargo or our competitive advantage."

ORIGINAL STORY | Nov. 29, 2012 1:19 P.M. PST: A strike by about 500 clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has entered its third day Thursday. The strike has halted most work at the nation's busiest harbor complex.

Dozens of longshore clerks walked off their jobs Tuesday, leaving the busiest terminals of the L.A. ports. Wednesday, the strike reached seven of eight terminals at the L.A. port and three at the Long Beach port.

The strike is considered the largest port stoppage since 2002 and has raised concerns of its effect on the nation's economy. The two ports move around 40% of U.S.'s seaborn cargo, which estimates to $1 billion worth of goods per day.

The 800-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union [ILWU] Office Local 63's Office Clerical Unit set up picket lines at seven of the eight terminals at the L.A. ports. Many have honored the picket lines, bringing container cargo movement to a stop.

Late Wednesday, ILWU Local 63's Office Clerical Unit president John Fageaux said he wants the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Employers Association to go back to the negotiating table.

"They refuse by saying they were not prepared to make any movement from their current position," Fageaux said. "We're prepared to strike as long as it takes."

The Harbor Employers Association represents 14 of the world's largest shipping companies. The union accuses them of using technology to outsource workers' jobs, but the lead negotiator for the employers disagrees.

"Not one OCU job has been sent overseas, or anywhere else," lead negotiator John Berry said. He continued that the employers promise not t lay off any OCU workers that are under a new contract and that they will be paid every week of the year.

Several of the clerks on strike have been without a contract since June 30, 2010. The Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor Employees Assocation will hold a news conference to answer questions about the ongoing negotiations with ILWU Local 63 Office Clerical Unit and the status of the port operations.

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.