32 ships waited to get into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach today as dockworkers returned to work following a partial work stoppage over the weekend, including Monday, according to City News Service (CNS). 20 other ships were waiting at berth to be loaded and unloaded that hadn’t been touched all weekend, said POLA spokesman Phillip Sanfield.
According to CNS, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told local business leaders at an unrelated event Tuesday morning, hosted by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, that imports are still coming in, while not many goods are leaving the states.
“[T]hat means that our agriculture, that means that our raw materials that we’re exporting out of the Port of LA, are not moving,” Garcetti was quoted as saying.
Mayor Garcetti warned business leaders that "trade may never come back" if the labor dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents 29 West Coast ports, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, representing the dockworkers, is not resolved quickly, due to port customers taking their business elsewhere to competing Gulf Coast and East Coast ports.
According to CNS, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez intervened in today’s negotiations in San Francisco in an effort to try and resolve the dispute, while federal mediators continue to facilitate the talks, barring the ILWU from issuing public statements.