Miami port drivers ordered back to work
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday to end a work stoppage by independent truck drivers at the port of Miami that has cost shippers and terminal operators millions of dollars as cargo has remained stuck on the docks during the past two weeks, the Miami Herald reported.
The port of Miami tried without success to facilitate discussions between truck drivers, motor carriers and terminal operators over complaints about inefficient gate operations, low pay and requirements for drivers to pay liability insurance instead of the trucking firms that contract with them.
Judge Patrica Seitz of the U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida scheduled a court date for Thursday to hear Miami-Dade County’s request for a preliminary injunction against the drivers, but ordered more than 700 owner-operators back to work until then.
Universal Maritime Services, the primary terminal operator, estimated its losses at $700,000 so far.
Seitz said the county, port and Universal Maritime Services would suffer irreparable harm if truckers were allowed to continue their boycott, according to the Herald.
Nine vessels have been diverted to other ports to avoid the congestion, the paper said. Maersk Sealand has begun diverting some of its vessels to Port Everglades in an effort to keep shipments flowing, FedEx Trade Networks said in a bulletin to its customers.