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Union pronounces daytime work stoppage at congested Port of Oakland

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In an aerial view, a container ship sits docked on the Port of Oakland on May 20, 2022 in Oakland, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

A vital port employees union is shifting a planned work stoppage to daytime hours June 20 on the already-congested Port of Oakland in California, just days before the expiration of the union’s contract.

The Oakland chapter of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, or ILWU, announced that its work stoppage meeting can be moved from the night shift to the day shift. In response to a document obtained by CNBC, the primary shift from 8 a.m. to five p.m. PT shift can be closed. Operations will resume on the port at 6 p.m.

A port official told CNBC that the change was made so Black longshoremen could rejoice the Juneteenth holiday, which is June 19, a Sunday, but might be widely observed on June 20.

The stoppage is bad news for already-snarled supply chains. The day shift is much busier than the evening shift, in accordance with truckers aware of the port. In response to the CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map, the Port of Oakland is the worst performing port for the movement of import containers – a 9.5-day average.

Port employees were made aware of the change in a Friday morning email.

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The ILWU didn’t immediately reply to CNBC’s request for comment. The contract is about to run out July 1.

The timing of this meeting change has logistics experts concerned.

“Given the slowing growth rate of the American economy, interruptions within the flow of exports are never a positive,” said Alan Baer, CEO of shipping company OL USA. “We’d like all sides of the availability chain functioning as this optimizes the short and long-term outlook for everybody involved.”

The Port of Oakland has also seen a drop in exports and recently announced a partnership with the USDA to offer financial aid to agricultural exporters.

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