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Ports Close For Weekend In Response To Worker Slowdown

Port of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/SLV Native (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Port of Seattle.

All ports on the West Coast will be closed for business this weekend – a response to ongoing worker slowdown, said a spokesman for the Pacific Maritime Association.

The association represents the 29 terminal operators on the West Coast.

“After three months of union slowdowns, it makes no sense to pay extra for less work,” said spokesman Wade Gates. “Especially if there is no end in sight to the union’s actions which needlessly brought West Coast ports to the brink of gridlock.”

Jennifer Sargent, a spokeswoman for the ILWU, the national longshore union, said the association is “playing a dangerous and unnecessary game of brinkmanship by idling vessels for two days.”

Sargent called it a “not-too-disguised effort to intimidate the ILWU membership.”

Both sides have been in contract negotiations since last spring. Their last one expired in July.