Matson unloading affected by 'optional' work day

Published: Feb. 9, 2015 at 12:08 AM HST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2015 at 9:39 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two Matson ships arrived from the West Coast this weekend - one from Oakland and one from Long Beach - but unloading them was affected by the ILWU decision to exercise its contractual right to treat Sunday as an "optional" day. The gates were open, however, to receive cargo for shipment to neighbor islands or eastbound to the West Coast. As a practical matter the Sunday move by the union means a one-day delay.

Horizon Lines has a ship due from Oakland on Tuesday and one from Los Angeles due on Wednesday.

The management decision not to ask for any crane operators at West Coast terminals did not include Jones Act shippers such as the three shipping lines to Hawaii. Terminals were given the option remain open for other dock work; one did in Oakland and roughly half of the dozen terminals at Los Angeles-Long Beach, according to the Journal of Commerce.

As this point any shortages on Hawaii shelves are the result of hoarding, not of any actions by either labor or management, though the Sunday move by the ILWU might conceivably delay some interisland shipments.

Hawaii Governor David Ige says the state is closely tracking the labor dispute's potential impact here in Hawaii.

"Hawaii imports more of the food we eat than any other state in the country, 90-percent is imported.  And most importantly, most of that comes via ship. So we are making certain that we understand what the process is. We do intend to seek an exemption to exempt Hawaii so we can continue to get the food and goods that we need," said Ige.

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