port strike

Port Strike



ripe timing pick out
pack sort fortune
delay harvest container
citrus fallout tremendous
crane dispute deadlock
all-out looming bottleneck
union maritime warehouse
throw finger productivity
point blame logjam
moor strike (2) offshore
port coast stranded
suffer queue languish
freight retailer double whammy
wham swift resolution


Video: Port Strike



In the orange business, timing is everything. The fruit is ripe and ready to eat.

The packers and sorters are picking out the best for export.

But it’s not running as smoothly further down the line.

Tom Wollenman: “We’ve been exporting to Asia, year after year after year.

Tom Wollenman is ready to harvest . . .

But delays at the port are keeping fruit on the trees and costing him a fortune.

Tom Wollenman, LoBue Citrus: “Normally the citrus industry at this time of the year would be shipping 800 to 900 containers a week to Asia. It’s probably going to ship about half that many.

So the economic fallout for this industry for me and my company is really tremendous. We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars.”

All along the West Coast of America, the cranes are still. A labor dispute has slowed work down so much, it has practically stopped.

The unions and management are in deadlock . . . and an all-out strike is looming.

Steve Getzug, Pacific Maritime Associate: “For the past three-and-a-half months, the unions have been slowing down and creating bottlenecks that have created economic harm up and down the West Coast.

Mondo Porras, International Longshore and Warehouse Union: “Untrue. The fact is they are not ordering the jobs. That’s why productivity is low.

Steve: “This is not just a question of throwing labor at the problem. We need the right workers at the right time.”

Mondo: “The finger is being pointed at the labor. It’s always been pointed at labor. The fact is it’s the companies that are creating this economic congestion.”

Whoever is to blame, it means logjams: ships arriving from Asia, and nowhere to land, and no one to unload them. Dozens are moored offshore.

There shouldn’t be any.

Thousands of containers are stranded, here off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

After nine months of a labor dispute, importers, exporters and the US economy are really starting to suffer.

Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods have been left languishing in long queues on shore.

Mark Hirzel, Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association: “Goods are not going to be on the shelves as this progresses. You’re also going to find the retailers are going to have to charge more for their products because they incurred higher transportation costs in getting the goods to market.

So it’s going to have a double-whammy effect.”

With oranges on the move, but with nowhere to go, president Obama has sent his labor secretary to join in the negotiations on both sides of the Pacific are waiting for a swift resolution.

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1. Tom is having a very successful orange harvest this season. Is this correct or wrong? What figures does he give (mention)?

2. Is this happening in one port? What is happening in ports on the West Coast?

3. “The unions and management are in deadlock.” What does this mean? Why are they in a deadlock?

4. Describe the situation at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

5. The strike only affects the shipping industry. Is this true or false?

6. Is the government involved in the dispute? Why is it involved? How is it involved?
A. Is the port strike affecting you indirectly or directly?

B. Why do workers strike? Are strikes common or rare in your city?

C. Do you side with the unions (labor) or management or both? Who do you agree with?

D. What is the solution to labor-management disputes?

E. What is the history of strikes in your country?

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