Friday, the 29th of January 2016, the New Jersey and New York port was closed due to strike. The unionized employees were demanding the termination of the Waterfront Commission interference on the collective agreement that the NYSA (the Shippers Association in New York) managed to bargain with the ILA (the International Association of Longshoremen).
The New Jersey and New York Port Was Closed Due to Strike
Friday, on the 29th of January approximately 1,000 unionized dock workers from the New York port stopped working and left their positions. This immediately affected the New Jersey and New York Port Authority shipping terminals. The agency operates a large number of terminals in Brooklyn, Elizabeth, Staten Island and Newark. The facilities are rented to more than 40 shippers.
An official statement of the New Jersey and New York Port Authority confirmed the unionized dock workers strike and pleaded the members of the ILA to come back to work as they will solve all of their demands in time.
The Port Authority is not responsible only for the safety of the dock workers, but also of the stakeholders that are at the port. The agency strongly urged the workers to return to their posts because the delay was costing them extraordinary amounts of money. That and, according to the NYSA, the strike is illegal because the workers are currently under a binding contract.
ILA Could Not Be Contacted
The headquarters of the ILA from North Bergen could not be contacted via telephone. But a spokesman for the association declared that they were enraged by the continuous interference of the Waterfront Commission in the collective agreement that was bargained between NYSA and the ILA. The Waterfront Commission was founded in the 1950s and its sole purpose is to fight crime related to ports and water shipments.
The New Jersey and New York Port is the busiest one on the East Coast, and the third largest on a national scale after the ones in Long Beach and Los Angeles, California.
The Cargo That Passes Through the Port Adds Up to $200 Billion per Year
The latest available data on the logistics of the Port are from 2014. According to those, the New Jersey and New York Port handled approximately 73, 6 million metric tons of cargo per total, out of which 18.1 million were incoming as import goods, and the rest of the 55.5 million metric tons were export goods.
The port allegedly handles approximately $200 billion worth of goods in a single year. And since the New Jersey and New York Port was closed due to strike, even for a day, the damage could be substantial.
Image source: www.nyt.com