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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora