Port operations back to normal after protest disruptions

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 13, 2011 1:58 PM
Port operations back to normal after protest disruptions

OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) - Operations were back to normal on Tuesday at West Coast ports, a day after a series of anti-Wall Street protests disrupted arrival of trucks and dockworkers at several terminals.

"We're just glad to get people back to work, a lot of people's jobs depend on it," said Lee Peterson, spokesman for the Port of Long Beach in Southern California.

Officials at ports in Oakland, California, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle and Longview, Washington -- which were all slowed on Monday because of the protests -- also said their operations were back to normal.

Thousands of protesters, who marched on ports from Southern California to Alaska, went home without achieving the goal some set out for themselves of mounting a full-scale cargo blockage along the West Coast. Police made over a dozen arrests.

The largest rally occurred at the Port of Oakland.

At least two ships came into the port on Monday and could not be unloaded due to the protest lines, said port spokesman Isaac Kos-Read. But on Tuesday, seven ships were at berth and being loaded and unloaded, he said.

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Shipping analyst Calvin Wang of Dynamar B.V. said in an e-mail the effects of the protests were limited because the peak season for transpacific container shipments has nearly passed.

The demonstration on Monday by members of the Occupy movement was meant to draw attention to economic inequality and a financial system they say is unfairly skewed toward the wealthy.

(Reporting by Laird Harrison: Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune)