Cruise ships expect to continue operating normally at West Coast
seaports despite a major labor dispute that forced cargo traffic to
a standstill last week.
Holland America Line reported that the Veendam had to tender its
passengers to shore in Seattle Oct. 1 because it could not dock at
Bell Street Pier 66.
“I think there was a lot of confusion as to what was
happening,’’ said HAL spokesman Erik Elvejord.
The problem was solved by the following day, and the Amsterdam
turned around in Seattle as usual.
“Like anybody else, we’re keen to know what’s happening and
where it’s going, but it’s been pretty much business as usual for
our ships,” Elvejord said.
The dispute is between the Pacific Maritime Association, which
represents international shipping lines and terminal operators, and
the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. After five months
of contentious negotiations over a new contract, the maritime
association said the union members were conducting an unofficial
work slowdown and ordered them shut out at 29 ports from Seattle to
“We are working directly with the longshoremen until this gets
resolved,” said Jennifer de la Cruz, spokeswoman for Carnival
Cruise Lines, which has two ships based at the Port of Los Angeles.
“We’re able to do that because we’re not members of the PMA.”
Carnival does not expect operational problems at ports in the
near future, de la Cruz added.
Royal Caribbean International also negotiated an agreement with
the union, and its Radiance of the Seas docked at the Bell Street
Pier as usual Oct. 1, a spokesman said.