News / USA

Labor Dispute at Key US Cargo Port Enters Week 2

The Maersk cargo terminal, where container-handling cranes are in the up and idle position, is seen at the Port of Los Angeles, Nov. 29, 2012. Cargo ships were stacking up at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as a strike by about about 70 clerical workers shut down most terminals that together are the nation's busiest port complex.
The Maersk cargo terminal, where container-handling cranes are in the up and idle position, is seen at the Port of Los Angeles, Nov. 29, 2012. Cargo ships were stacking up at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as a strike by about about 70 clerical workers shut down most terminals that together are the nation's busiest port complex.
VOA News
Negotiations to end a strike at the biggest cargo port complex in the United States are continuing Tuesday, as the dispute enters its second week.

Unionized clerical workers at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in California walked off the job last Tuesday, claiming that shippers who operate out of the twin ports want to outsource jobs overseas. The group representing the shippers and terminal operators say they merely want the right to hire the people they need.

Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield told VOA that port officials hope the two sides can reach an agreement on Tuesday. He says the strike has shut down seven of eight Los Angeles shipping terminals.
 
"It's essentially shut down the port of L.A., which is the nation's largest container port for our container operations," he said. "And next door at the port of Long Beach, three of their six container terminals are operating, so this has had a huge impact on the importing and exporting of goods through the Western U.S."

About 40 percent of all goods shipped to the U.S. come through Los Angeles and Long Beach, averaging $1 billion in trade a day.

Sanfield says the two ports' top imports include furniture and automobile parts, as well as electronics, clothing, shoes and toys - items that make up a large part of retailers' holiday shopping sales.

Sanfield says most of the cargo comes through Asia, with China and Hong Kong as the Los Angeles port's primary trading partners, followed by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. He says a smaller percentage of goods is routed through India, Central America and Northern Europe.

The now eight-day strike has idled some ships off the California coast, while forcing others to divert their cargo to other ports in California, Mexico and Panama.

The 800 clerical workers on strike have been joined by about 10,000 unionized dockworkers who have refused to cross the picket lines to load and unload cargo.  Hundreds of independent truck drivers who haul goods to and from the ports have also been idled by the dispute.  

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has demanded the two sides bring in a mediator and work nonstop until the dispute is settled.

The National Retail Federation, meanwhile, is urging President Barack Obama to intervene, warning that a prolonged strike could harm the still-fragile U.S. economy.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid