Longshore Work Drags Despite
by Richard Read
Longshoremen moved only 15 containers an hour while working a vessel in Portland Wednesday, port officials said, a day after a federal judge ordered them to halt an illegal slowdown clogging cargo.
Managers said the normal rate is 27 an hour at the Port's Terminal 6, where a dispute between unions over two jobs has backed up freight across the Northwest, boosting costs expected to be passed along to consumers. Outside the unusually empty yard Wednesday, a longshore union leader engaged in a heated argument with terminal managers.
Union representatives wouldn't comment on the low production a day after U.S. District Judge Michael Simon issued an order prohibiting slowdowns, stoppages or coercion. A continued slowdown could violate Simon's temporary restraining order, risking a contempt-of-court finding and penalties such as fines.
"Trucks moving containers within the yard are driving slow and having issues queuing up properly at the cranes," said Josh Thomas, a Port of Portland spokesman. He said a normal number of 46 workers showed up to work the Cape Manila vessel but accomplished just 15 moves an hour during the first four hours of work.
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