Earlier this month, MOJO featured a post titled "Strike at Ports of Long Beach & Los Angeles - Won't Disrupt Supply Chains?" We were a bit incredulous that there were reports that those striking were "only" clerical workers from a couple of companies, and therefore shipping likely wouldn't be disrupted. Our point: lesser events have blossomed into full-blown stoppages, so don't get too confident.
Last week, the strikers returned to work. All is well, right? Uh ... maybe not.
The unions that called the strike were protesting clerical jobs being outsourced. During the week-plus strike, the clerks reportedly picketed the docks in hopes of convincing those workers to join in the festivities. But an arbitrator ruled twice that the strike was not "bona fide." So, the clerks are back to work without a contract. So, of course, union officials have said not to rule out another walkout.
Just because these folks returned to work doesn't mean that the situation has improved. Anyone who's spent anytime near or around SoCal and the shipping business there knows the score ... until the fire's out, a flare-up is always possible.
Again, sourcing professionals should pay close attention due to supply chain impact. And small supplier manufacturers should, too - since any disruption would present a perfect opportunity to solicit work from comapnies that'll be looking for alternatives - fast.