Over the weekend, following a threat to order the bickering parties to Washington if they could not get an agreement, management of 29 West Coast ports and union dockworkers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) reached a tentative deal.
Dockworkers are now back on the job and are beginning to unload a backlog of container ships that have been sitting at sea–many of them for weeks.
Getting the docks back to a “sense of normalcy,” however, will not be fast.
Parked off the Southern California coast is a flotilla of ships bulging with thousands of tractor-trailer sized containers that hold a shopper’s delight of goods — which already would be on store shelves but for a labor dispute that has disrupted international trade.
The leader of the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest, said it would take three months “to get back a sense of normalcy.” [Emphasis added.]