Port employers are accusing unionized dockworkers of slowing container handling at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, says The Wall Street Journal. The new accusations suggest that tensions in the long-running labor contract negotiations are getting worse and point to the potential for deeper disruptions at the nation’s busiest gateway for imported consumer goods.
The details are that the employer group says dockworkers stopped staggering their meal breaks at the ports, creating one-hour mealtime gaps that have led to delays in box movements. The union says its workers have the right to take meals together.
But the bigger issue is that cargo volumes at the ports are in steep decline. A showdown that ties up the flow of goods is likely to push more business to other gateways.
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