The Port of Oakland was shut down Tuesday when members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union refused to cross pickets established at all of the marine terminals by striking members of the Service Employees International Union.
The SEIU represents maintenance workers at marine terminals. The SEIU members, who are employed by the port authority, charge the port with refusing to bargain in good faith during contract negotiations that were held over the past 16 months.
When the ILWU workers refused to cross picket lines at the beginning of the first shift on Tuesday, the Pacific Maritime Association called in the joint PMA-ILWU arbitrator to resolve what the employers’ association said is an illegal secondary boycott.
PMA President Jim McKenna said the arbitrator ruled that the SEIU action did not constitute a bona fide picket.
The dockworkers were supposed to return to their jobs, but workers at one terminal refused, claiming a health and safety risk due to the number of SEIU picketers at that facility.
ILWU members then refused to cross pickets at all of the other terminals. The PMA appealed to the arbitrator and was awaiting a ruling.