Are the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Shut Down?

I have been reporting on a potential west coast strike at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for almost a year. That was why this ABC 7 News headline caught my eye:” Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach shut down amid labor negotiations.”

If true, that is troubling news for the toy industry as the two ports handle 40% of all U.S. Asian imports. But is the headline accurate? I decided to find out.

I searched for similar headlines and found no major news outlet with a similar headline. In addition, I conducted a close read of the article, and it became evident that the ABC 7 headline overstated the problem.

So, let’s compare how ABC 7 and GCaptain, a Bloomberg subsidiary, reported the story:

Here is ABC 7’s take:

The industry group representing shippers announced Friday that operations at some marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were “effectively shut down” following staged concerted and disruptive work actions from the union representing West Coast dockworkers.

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach shut down amid labor negotiations,” ABC 7, June 4, 2023

Here is how the GCaptain reports the same news in its article, “West Coast Port Terminal To Close Monday As Disruptions Persist:”

At least one terminal at the Port of Long Beach will be shut on Monday, seeming to extend disruptions that have hit several key US West Coast port terminals as dockworkers and their employers hold ongoing labor contract negotiations.

west-coast-port-terminal-to-close-monday-as-disruptions-persist, GCaptain,june 4, 2023

After my review, I have concluded that Unions are pressuring the ports through job actions. On the other side, the shippers’ industry group, The Pacific Maritime Association, is trying to make the unions and their actions appear more dire than they are. Their purpose? To gain an advantage in public opinion and negotiations.

ABC 7 took the bait and ran the headline that the shippers hoped they would. Nobody else did.

Nonetheless, there still is no agreement between the unions and the ports, and if it should come to a strike, it will cause mayhem for the toy industry.

So, it’s not as dire as it seems, but it is troubling.

One thought

  1. We have found, over the years, that ABC (Disney) loves to pounce on subjects without any fact checking, hoping to get their “exclusives”.
    We haven’t paid attention to ABC for decades. Or FOX for that matter.

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