A one-hour work stoppage occurred this morning at multiple port terminals in the Lowcountry as part of an observation of a Global Day of Action for Dockers, promoted by the International Longshoremen's Association.
James Pinckney Jr., vice president of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1422 in Charleston, said the longshoremen halted work to honor maritime workers who have been injured or have died.
“We held a moment of memorial for those fallen or injured in maritime industry,” he said. “We took into consideration not just our organization, but every worker in connection with maritime industry.”
Pinckney said he could not comment on whether this is a new event in Charleston. The ILA’s website said any longshoremen wanting to participate should stop working at 8 a.m. for one hour.
“Our trucking community was notified in advance and adjusted their schedules to prevent backups during the hour,” S.C. State Ports Authority spokeswoman Erin Dhand said in an email. “The slight backlog of trucks during that hour have been cleared and operations are running smoothly.”
The North Charleston, Wando, and Columbus Street terminals were affected by the stoppage.
In a statement released Wednesday, ports authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said, “On the eve of what has been called by the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) a ‘Global Day of Action,’ SCPA is working with the Charleston maritime community, cargo owners and ocean carriers to minimize the potential impacts that the one-hour work stoppage, which has been agreed upon by SCPA’s customers, the ocean carriers, will have on the economy.
“While the action by the ILA is out of the port’s control and will occur across the nation and world, SCPA has contacted local law enforcement and expects cooperation and coordination among the trucking companies to guard against related traffic congestion on our roads. Additionally, The Charleston Gate Co. is diligently working with the local clerks and mechanics who perform our truck check-in functions to ensure they return to work as quickly as possible.”