Work has stopped at Terminal 18 at the Port of Seattle after Longshoremen walked off the job Tuesday, according to terminal operator SSA Marine.
The terminal will remain closed for the day, although SSA is hopeful it will reopen Wednesday.
SSA claims that Longshoremen walked off the job early Tuesday after demanding that the operator hire more labor at Terminal 5.
Bob Watters, SSA Marine’s senior vice president, said the walkout has nothing to do with an ongoing labor dispute.
“These kinds of things happen periodically,” Watters told KIRO Radio.
“I understand there are two sides to every dispute, but I also understand if you collect a paycheck and you don’t give your full effort, you are a thief,” says KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
“Now these thieves are destroying a lot of good, honest, hard-working truck drivers and business owners, people who depend on the ports for importing and exporting goods.”
Despite the fact that the terminal was closed, Watters insisted that it “wasn’t a news story” and it “must be a slow news day.”
Terminal 18 is the largest container facility in the Pacific Northwest, according to the SSA Marine website.
The Port of Seattle is among several West Coast ports that have suffered work slowdowns as the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) continue contract negotiations that have been going on since May.
While the union has denied intentionally slowing down the flow of commerce, the PMA called their actions orchestrated.
An email and phone call to the ILWU Local 19 were not immediately returned.