Operations Return To Normal At West Coast Ports

Topics:

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — West Coast ports tried to get back to business as usual Tuesday as they tallied their losses after anti-Wall Street protests that blocked trucks and curbed business along busy waterfronts.

Long lines of trucks waited outside port gates and some workers reported early to clear the cargo backlog left after thousands of Occupy demonstrators forced shipping terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt parts of their operations Monday.

Disruptions caused by protesters likely cost businesses, workers and the surrounding community millions of dollars, said Port of Oakland spokesman Isaac Kos-Read.

Though the port did not provide a breakdown of specific losses caused by the blockades, Kos-Read said officials estimate the port typically generates about $8.5 million per day in business revenue, wages, taxes and other economic activity.

“It’s the ripple effect,” he said.

Protesters in Oakland began blocking port entrances early Monday morning, leading to a major slowdown of operations when most longshoremen were sent home from the morning shift. Protests in the afternoon and through the night led to the cancellation of two more shifts.

The longshoremen’s union said the blockades resulted in about 500 canceled shifts but that the work will have to be made up to handle the backlogged cargo.

Normal operations at the port resumed Tuesday morning, Oakland port officials said.

The Port of Portland opened one hour early Tuesday to deal with the backlog of work, said port spokesman Josh Thomas.

The port’s first and second shifts were told not to report to work Monday because of safety concerns. Protesters blocked the port’s two main terminals.

“It’s good to get people back to work,” Thomas said.

Work was also disrupted in Longview, Wash., where longshoremen have had a longstanding dispute with grain exporter EGT. Protest organizers had made the conflict in Longview a focal point of their demonstrations. Operations there had returned to normal by Tuesday.

At least one outside observer who has followed political movements for decades said the port blockades were an indicator of the disruptive activities likely to continue until next year’s presidential elections.

“There will be more of a tendency toward militant disruptive activity,” said Todd Gitlin, a sociologist at Columbia University and an authority on social movements. “There’s going to be a number of coordinated actions and this is going to go on for months.”



The movement, which sprang up this fall against what it sees as corporate greed and economic inequality, focused on the ports as the “economic engines for the elite.” It comes weeks after police raids cleared out most of their tent camps.

While the protests attracted far fewer people than the 10,000 who turned out Nov. 2 to shut down Oakland’s port, organizers declared victory and promised more demonstrations.

___

Associated Press writers Beth Duff-Brown in San Francisco, and Nigel Duara in Portland, Ore., contributed to this report.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments are not enabled for this story.