Southern California Ports Close Due to Labor Shortage Amid Union Contract Negotiations, Disrupting Global Supply Chain

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports closed for the second day in a row on Friday due to a labor shortage.

40% of the nation’s foreign goods arrive to the United States to these two ports in Southern California.

Union workers at both ports are currently in talks for a new contract.

The ILWU Local 13 claimed workers who observe religious holidays took Friday off.

“On Friday, April 7, 2023, union members who observe religious holidays took the opportunity to celebrate with their families,” read a statement from ILWU. “Cargo operations are ongoing as longshore workers at the Ports remain on the job.”

However, port officials claim the union workers didn’t show up to work in an effort to put pressure on contract discussions, ABC 7 reported.

ABC 7 reported:

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have closed due to widespread worker shortages apparently linked to ongoing contract talks.

Unions representing workers at the two ports are in talks for a new contract.

The ILWU Local 13 withheld workers from their shifts starting Thursday evening, according to the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents shipping employers on the West Coast.

“The action by the Union has effectively shut down the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – the largest gateway for maritime trade in the United States,” the PMA said.

The closures come as cargo volumes have already dropped from peak levels a year ago.

The union has been working without a new contract since July.

Trade experts say some shippers have already started diverting cargo traffic away from the two ports.

“A lot of the cargo has been shifted away from the West Coast ports, into the middle of our country and the East Coast,” said Nick Vyas, executive director of the Kendrick Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Southern California. “So we have a seen a significant drop in volume at our West Coast ports, which is not a good sign.”

More from ABC 7 News:

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Cristina began writing for The Gateway Pundit in 2016 and she is now the Associate Editor.

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