A week-old strike by clerical workers at 2 of the 14 priminent companies serving the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles continues. Three separate negotiations have ended without resolution, and reports state that actual shipping hasn't been disrupted because (a) only clerical personnel are striking and (b) only a couple of companies are striking.
I wonder if BP said at some point, "Hey! It's only one well ..."
What isn't clear about this strike is what happens in the coming days or weeks if talks continue to break down. Will other members of the International Longshore and Warehouse union from other companies joing their brothers and sisters on the picket line? Will other unions show fellowship and join? While clerical work for shipments is said to be done "several days in advance," how long until disruptions do begin?
The strike is centered around compensation and job security - the employers are said to be considering automation which would eliminate clerical postitions. That's a pretty touchy subject, especially these days. Point is, this could become a perfect storm without much effort if comprimises aren't reached.
For suppliers of manufacturing services in the US - whether you're a member of MFG.com or not - this is something to watch closely. To say today that supply chains won't be disrupted may be whistling past the graveyard. And if disruptions DO occur, they represent another perfect opportunity to reconnect with previous customers and prospects in the US to remind them that sourcing in-country helps to eliminate those risks.