News / USA

Workers Return to Jobs at Huge US Port Complex

Los Angeles Port Strike Ends, Effects Lingeri
|| 0:00:00
X
Mike O'Sullivan
December 06, 2012 2:24 AM
An eight-day strike that crippled the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has ended, restoring the flow of goods through the major trade gateway between the United States and Asia. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the strike had a limited impact, but it disrupted the trade flow and its effects will linger.

Los Angeles Port Strike Ends, Effects Linger

Mike O'Sullivan
An eight-day strike that crippled the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has ended, restoring the flow of goods through the major trade gateway between the United States and Asia. The strike had a limited impact, but it disrupted the trade flow and its effects will linger.
 
Eight days of picketing by harbor clerks and other union supporters left trucks idled and billions of dollars in goods stuck in containers.  

Late Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a tentative settlement. “I think it's appropriate to say mission accomplished," he said. 
 
The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle 40 percent of US imports. 
 
They are vital to businessman Charlie Woo. His company, MegaToys, manufactures goods in China and assembles and packages them in Los Angeles.   His Christmas stock has already shipped out to stores, but he had 30 containers of seasonal goods for Valentines Day and Easter sitting at the ports. They're valued at $1 million. 
 
“I have quite a bit of merchandise backed up and we would probably have to hire more people to work overtime to catch up so that we can meet our delivery schedule," he said. 
 
Labor unions say the key issue was the outsourcing of jobs after workers retire.  It's part of a wider concern about jobs leaving the country, as Sal Chavez, a port worker, explained during the strike.
 
“I mean, the jobs have been going left and right out of the country, and nobody's doing anything about it.  Somebody has to step forward and say, we need to keep these jobs in America," he said. 
 
Losses from the strike are uncertain, but economists say they are much lower than the 10-day shutdown of all West Coast US ports 10 years ago. That labor lockout cost the US economy $15 billion.
 
Charlie Woo says he can handle his losses from this strike, in the tens of thousands of dollars.  Port workers are now back on the job, but he says the impact of the work stoppage continues.  
 
“The situation is going to take a while to sort out because, for every ship that's docked outside Los Angeles, they're not able to go back to China to pick up more merchandise in two or three weeks time.  So the whole schedule will be disrupted," he said. 
 
He says port strikes undermine the competitive advantage of his Los Angeles company, which normally enjoys lower shipping costs than his rivals in other parts of the country. 

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid