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Dock Workers On The Job Today

by April Baer
Oregon Public Broadcasting, July 4, 2012

(Ross William Hamilton) Terminal 6, usually stacked full of containers, has relatively few boxes waiting for shipping abroad, as steamship lines bypass Portland because of labor disputes. Workers at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 appear to be operating almost normally, according to Port officials.

On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to end a work slowdown at the Port. The ILWU says the company that runs Terminal 6 wrongly assigned jobs running a refrigeration unit to a different union. Judge Michael Simon ordered the jobs be filled for now by ILWU workers. He also said the work slowdown was illegal.

The first test of his orders came around 5 a.m. Wednesday, as a container ship from a German carrier arrived. Kama Simonds with the port said workers showed up on schedule, and unloading began in routine manner around 8 a.m.

"Thus far we're seeing production a little below normal," Simonds said. Equipment in the yards are moving just fine. The trucks that drive the containers through the yard appear to be moving a little slowly, and they're having some issues queuing up properly at the crane. They're averaging just over 15 moves per hour."

On an average day, Simonds said workflow would be more like 20 moves per hour. During the slowdown, productivity trickled to 9 moves per hour, and eventually shut down entirely.

A spokesperson for the ILWU did not return calls for comment.

April Baer
Dock Workers On The Job Today
Oregon Public Broadcasting, July 4, 2012

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