Hawaii exempt, but PMA limits dock work again

Hawaii exempt, but PMA limits dock work again

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pacific Maritime Association, representing management in the West Coast dock talks, canceled its bargaining appointment with the longshore union, and announced further days without loading or unloading ships.

Matson Inc. confirmed, however, that PMA again exempted Jones Act carriers, which means Hawaii shipping lines can still load and unload ships without interruption.

PMA, again accusing the International Longshore & Warehouse Union of a months-long work slowdown, said it would not pay a premium for slow-speed work, and therefore would not do vessel loading or unloading on four of the next five days.

Longshore labor is paid a 50% premium on weekends and holidays. The four days affected are the coming weekend plus Thursday, which is Lincoln's Birthday, and Monday, which is Washington's Birthday.

In other words, at non-Jones Act terminals, the only day on which terminals plan to request crane operators to load and unload ships will be Friday.

Hawaii maritime shipping is done by Matson, Horizon Lines and Pasha Hawaii Transport, all of which sail from ports where the PMA and ILWU have jurisdiction. At Long Beach, Calif., Matson has its own terminal.

Matson does have an unrelated issue: its containership Maunawili needs repairs after suffering structural damage during a severe storm on its way from China to the U.S. West Coast. "Repair work should take about five days," said Matson spokesman Jeff Hull. "Much of that freight will move on the Mokihana that will depart Long Beach this week."

While Hawaii has escaped the three-week delays reported on the mainland, the labor strife between PMA and ILWU continues to worry mainland manufacturers and retailers, and on Thursday they encountered a fresh problem when the Teamsters scheduled a strike against Canadian Pacific Railway to start the day after Valentine's Day unless a contract settlement is reached before then. Goods from Japan and Korea intended for factories and stores in the eastern U.S. often travel on the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways.

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