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  • OTLT.USA
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  • OTRI.USA
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  • OTVI.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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  • ITVI.USA
    16,240.330
    -110.510
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  • OTLT.USA
    2.762
    0.031
    1.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.780
    0.120
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  • OTVI.USA
    16,233.310
    -109.890
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • WAIT.USA
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American ShipperShippingWarehouse

Oakland terminal shutdown first test of new arbitration system

The dispute between dockworkers and employers over starting times, which caused a shutdown at the Oakland International Container Terminal Monday, will be resolved using new arbitration system agreed to last year as part of the ILWU-PMA contract.

   An arbitration panel hearing a dispute about starting times for longshoremen at a terminal in the Port of Oakland met from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday.
   After longshoremen refused to get into machinery before the 7 a.m. starting time on Monday and were sent home for the day, the Port of Oakland’s largest container terminal, the Oakland International Container Terminal was shut down for the day. The terminal opened for a second shift on Monday and operated normally on Tuesday.
   According to Stevedoring Services of America, longshoremen who operate container handling machinery are paid from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. so that when the terminal opens at 7 a.m., the terminal can immediately being operations. But they say ILWU members are not entering the terminal until 7 a.m., and that operations do not actually begin for another 20-30 minutes.
   The dispute is an early test of a new arbitration system agreed to by International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association. The new arbitration system was agreed to under a contract approved last year following contentious negotiations that contributed to serious congestion issues at ports up and down the U.S. West Coast.
   An arbitrator selected by the union ruled in favor of 22 ILWU workers who were dismissed for the day on Monday. Under the agreement negotiated in last year’s contract, when a dispute at the docks arises, an arbitrator chosen by management or the ILWU is randomly selected by a computer to hear the dispute.
   Management then has the option of appealing the decision for a formal hearing before a three person panel, with one arbitrator selected by the union, another by management and a third neutral member agreed upon by both sides.That panel has yet to issue a decision — it may or may not be handed down on Wednesday.
   If either side is unhappy with the decision, it can be appealed once more to a coast arbitrator, John Kagel, a well known arbitrator who is the past president of the National Academy of Arbitrators.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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