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Union announces daytime work stoppage at congested Port of Oakland


An aerial view shows a container ship docked at Oakland Port of Oakland on May 20, 2020 in Oakland, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

The union representing port workers in California is shifting the planned strike to daytime hours on June 20, just days before the end of their union contract.

Oakland’s chapter of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that the work stoppage meeting will be moved to the morning shift. CNBC obtained a document that stated the closure of the 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT shift. At 6 p.m., operations will be resumed at the port.

CNBC was told by a port official that this change was necessary to allow Black longshoremen to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday. It is June 19 and will be observed widely on June 20.

This is bad news to already-clogged supply chains. Truckers who have been to the port know that the morning shift is much busier than the afternoon shift. The following is a summary of 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.

Employees at Ports were notified of this change via an email Friday morning.

CNBC did not immediately reach the ILWU to request comment. This contract will expire on July 1.

Logistics experts are concerned about the timing change for this meeting.

According to Alan Baer (CEO of shipping company OL USA), “Given America’s slowing economic growth, disruptions in export flows are not a good thing.” As this maximizes everyone’s short- and longer-term outlook, we need the supply chains to work together.

Port of Oakland also saw a decline in exports. Recently, the USDA announced a partnership to offer financial assistance to agricultural exporters.