All of the marine terminals at the Port of Oakland were back in operation by mid-morning Tuesday following more trucker demonstrations and a claim by dockworkers that the trucker pickets presented a health and safety issue at one of the terminals.
Harbor truckers are angry about delays at Oakland marine terminals that have been taking place on and off since the July 4 holiday.
The gate congestion and delays are especially costly to harbor truckers because they are paid by the trip and are usually not compensated for waiting in line.
The truckers shut the port down for a few hours Monday morning by blocking the entrances to the marine terminals.
Four of the port’s five marine terminals were back in operation Monday afternoon after the Oakland Police Department forced the truckers to cease blocking access to the facilities.
The Oakland International Container Terminal operated by SSA Marine took longer to reopen Monday, however, because International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 charged that the truckers presented a health and safety risk at the OICT facility. Under the ILWU waterfront contract, dockworkers can refuse to cross picket lines if they feel conditions are unsafe.
The truckers returned to the harbor on Tuesday, but they were met by Oakland police and Alameda County Sheriff officers and access to most of the terminals was guaranteed. ILWU workers once again on Tuesday claimed a safety risk at the SSA facility. However, ILWU Local 10 and Local 34 officers convinced the workers to return to their jobs, and the OICT facility was reopened in mid-morning, Pacific Maritime Association President James McKenna said.
The ILWU has had a running feud with SSA since the terminal operator last month took over operations of two adjacent facilities. One of the other terminals that had been operated by APL Ltd. and its terminal affiliate had been hiring ILWU maintenance workers to handle its equipment. SSA, however, has a contract with the International Association of Machinists, so the M&R work at the former APL facility was turned over to the IAM.
Oakland has experienced ILWU work stoppages since early July. ILWU pensioners picketed the port one day to protest delays in processing medical claims. Also, ILWU dockworkers had been slowing down operations at the OICT terminal over the M&R issue.
SSA also experienced operational issues after it took over the APL and Total Terminals Inc. facility in July because there was a delay in securing the TTI facility that resulted in gate congestion.