By Stephanie Hoops
PORT HUENEME, Calif. – The Port of Hueneme was bustling Tuesday, the first day of full operations following a four-day shutdown.
Two auto ships and a Del Monte ship carrying bananas were docked at the port, waiting to be loaded and unloaded.
“Today we’re busy and we’re going to continue to be busy,” said Jess Herrera, a port clerk and member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. “We haven’t had any slowdowns here at this port. Anybody can tell you that. We’re going to be producing as normal.”
Cargo loading and off-loading had been suspended at all 29 ports along the West Coast amid an ongoing labor dispute between dockworkers and the companies that employ them. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents the companies, ordered the shutdown Wednesday to avoid paying higher wages on the holidays and the weekend.
Port CEO Kristin Decas said Monday the local situation is not comparable to what’s happening at the big container ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where imports are stuck on massive vessels lined up offshore. The Port of Hueneme is seeing an effect, however.
“Because of the impacts we’re going to have to turn things around and keep going, going, going,” Decas said.
U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez was in San Francisco on Tuesday to attend negotiations between the dockworkers union and the maritime association.