NEW YORK A strike that
lasted more than a week at two of the West Coasts largest
port facilities came to a close late Tuesday, although industry
players say shipping backlogs could persist even as workers
returned to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.,
Clerical members of the
International Longshore and Warehouse Union, who have been
working without a labor contract since June 2010, ended their
eight-day strike Tuesday after reaching a tentative deal with
14 employers at the ports, the union said on its website.
During the strike, dockworkers
at seven of eight container terminals in Los Angeles and as
many as three of six terminals in Long Beach vowed to honor the
clerical workers picket lines, putting a halt to
shipments and leaving some inventory-lean steel mills in Asia
in particular concerned about delays (
amm.com, Dec. 3).
But while the strike has since
come to a close, those delays could persist, logistics firm OHL
said in a statement.
"Now that the strike is settled,
OHL expects that the backlog will last for a while even though
the ports will reopen as workers report back to work today. We
will be working to minimize the effects," the company said.
During the strike, a number of
vessels were diverted from Los Angeles and Long Beach to
alternate sites in Oakland, Calif., as well as ports in Mexico
and Panama, OHL said.
The logistics company said the six vessels diverted to
Mexico will not be returning to Los Angeles, while the Oakland
diversions are expected to return and discharge at the original
port. As of Monday evening, 17 vessels had been diverted to
other ports, OHL said.