OAKLAND, Calif. - Nearly all West Coast seaports began the week with dockworkers hustling to load and unload cargo ships that were held up amid a months-long labor-management dispute.
The exception Monday was the Port of Oakland, where problems persisted three days after negotiators for the dockworkers' union and for employers reached a new contract covering all 29 West Coast ports.
Port of Oakland spokesman Mike Zampa said nine ships are at berth, ready for cranes to move cargo, but only one ship was being worked due to a temporary shortage of experienced crane operators.
At other West Coast ports, work was back to normal.
In Portland, workers had piles of backed up lumber and other cargo waiting to be loaded during the labor dispute. Employees were finally able to start loading the goods Monday following the agreement.
But that doesn't mean Portland workers involved in the labor dispute has put the hard feelings behind them. On Monday, ICTSI, which operates Marine Terminal 6, accused workers of intentionally slowing down work Sunday. In response, a spokeswoman for the longshore union called the accusations "self-serving and inaccurate."
Across the West Coast, the job of restoring the free flow of international trade will take at least two months at the ports that handle roughly one-quarter of U.S. international trade.
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