Operations Being Restored At New York-Area Ports After Labor Shutdown

Operations at New York and New Jersey’s cargo terminals were being restored on Friday night after more than a thousand longshoremen walked off the job earlier in the day, according to port officials.

 Employees stopped working around 11 a.m. (1600 GMT), though the precise reason was unclear.

The work stoppage came as a surprise because “there were no major issues that we knew of to precipitate this,” according to a Port Authority official who requested anonymity.

The Port Authority and the International Longshoremen’s Association urged workers to immediately return to work.

Port Authority police were sent to the terminals to ensure public safety, according to the statement. The Port Authority official said there had been no word of any arrests by evening.

An arbitrator issued an award finding that the work stoppage was a violation of the “no strike” provision in the contract and ordering the officers of the ILA and its constituent locals in the port to inform their members of the same, the New York Shipping Association said in a statement. The association represents the terminal operators, ocean carriers, and stevedores. The NYSA negotiates labor agreements with the ILA.

During this time discussions took place between the ILA and NYSA with regard to outstanding issues concerning chassis, jurisdiction, hiring and technology, the NYSA said. It was agreed to seek solutions to these issues, the association said.

New York and New Jersey ports are a major entry point for crude oil and an exit for refined products such as gasoline and heating oil. It was unclear if energy sector workers in the ports were participating in the walkout.

The walkout affects several terminals, including Port Newark and terminals in Elizabeth and Bayonne, New Jersey, and the New York City borough of Staten Island.

Stay informed with RCL Agencies updates about global shipping and international ports.