California Global: Dockworkers, represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), said on Friday that the port crisis is not their fault and that heightened measures, such as the National Guard being deployed to some ports, will not help alleviate the situation.
The Globe traveled across Los Angeles County on Friday and talked with several current and former dock workers about the current situation. While each had different experiences and felt differently about the crisis, all maintained that dock workers had nothing to do with the crisis.
“This isn’t a case of us saying to you ‘Well of course it’s not our fault.’ The reality is that we’ve been working no more or less harder than usual when ships started backing up,” said James, a dock worker of 16 years. “In practical terms, there’s not too many ways to speed up the process. We use container cranes to offload a ship, and those things tend to not really act with speed. You try and push it and that could end up causing damage. You can miss the trucks or trains. On the ground, you need to make sure the containers are unhooked and safely down. If we rush it, someone, somewhere will be hurt.”
Another dockworker also spoke up about this.
“Going faster is not an option, but being more efficient is,” said Russell, a former dockworker now working as a long-haul trucker, to the Globe on Friday. “We’re finally getting backing to modernize the process and remove roadblocks like weight limits to help clear off ships faster. Dock workers and truckers alike have been asking this for years. The whole process can suddenly stop if, say, and trucker with a bobtail (truck with no trailer) pulls around to get loaded or something like that. It throws everyone off their flow. Or if trucks can only take so much weight. It just ruins the efficiency.” MORE HERE