Aerial photography of the labor dispute at the Port of LA and Long Beach

Aerial photography of the labor dispute at the Port of LA and Long Beach

As anyone who follows my work knows, I’m fascinated by industry and infrastructure. For the past few weeks, a labor dispute has been unfolding at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach. After flying over the area while coming in to land at LAX, I saw all of these giant container ships anchored offshore and instantly knew that I had to photograph it.

The next day I called my pilot and said ‘when is the soonest we can go up?!’ Less than 24 hours later we were in the air. It was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had doing aerial photography – being that far out at sea, with the huge swells underneath you, and these massive, massive container ships everywhere was like living a scene out of Walter Mitty’s life.

Cargo ships have been backed up for weeks on end at the ports of LA and Long Beach amid a labor dispute. Cargo ships have been backed up for weeks on end at the ports of LA and Long Beach amid a labor dispute. The size of these ships blows the mind; many of them are over a thousand feet long. The size of these ships blows the mind; many of them are over a thousand feet long. We photographed them from anywhere between 200 and 5,500 feet, and even at this height the enormous size was something else entirely. We photographed them from anywhere between 200 and 5,500 feet, and even at this height the enormous size was something else entirely. The haze and setting sun created an ethereal mood to all of the pictures The haze and setting sun created an ethereal mood to all of the pictures Cargoes from around the world are backed up right now Cargoes from around the world are backed up right now

I've never seen ANYTHING like this, even rush hour at the 405 doesn't look so bad. I’ve never seen ANYTHING like this, even rush hour at the 405 doesn’t look so bad. Colorful and massive, this ship is over 1000 feet from end to end. Colorful and massive, this ship is over 1000 feet from end to end.

From this angle, the scale and size of the city and ships becomes quickly apparent From this angle, the scale and size of the city and ships becomes quickly apparent

I have teamed up with to make fine art prints of these images available for sale, to view or purchase prints and size options, click here.

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Comments ( 94 )

  • Max

    Nice photo, point out the size of metal art and problem of congestion.

  • Walter M

    While these pictures may be beautiful to some, I just had to close the doors of my business due to no inventory. It’s a tragity for many small business owners.

    • Gary

      Manufacture in the USA.

    • Jenny

      You did not close the doors of the Business because of no inventory, You closed because you can not spell!! Tragity? what does that mean. This post situation however is a TRAGEDY to all other small business owners.

      • Anon

        Feel big bad and important now Jenny? Why are you talking down on someone who is obviously already struggling? Shame on you.

      • Endor

        Shayme to you Jenny, obvisousley Walter misspelled his wowd, but we all know the word is tragedy without have to be an asshowl and pointing it out in the most inconsiderate way. Go ahead and pat youself in the back for finding out a typo and completely missed out on the actual message by the frustrated show owner. By the way, I think I misspelled some words here, can you spot them awl?

  • M. Legend

    Beautiful pics!…IF I was a photographer or a Helo pilot. Unfortunately I am in the same boat (no pun) as Walter. I have lost over $200K in revenue and doubt I will be able to recover from it.

    What many people don’t realize, is the cost of advertising in relation to missing inventory. If I carry 20 different products and am out of 10, then I’m spending the same amount on advertising while losing 50% of my sale/profits. I’m usually ok at handling things out of my control, but this one keeps me up at night pacing and digging landing strips in my carpet.

  • greedy longshoreman

    due to the greed of the longshoreman SOB’s disregarding what they had bitching over what they already got over-paid for, and their actions hurted business, as well as consumers like you and me.

    Wish those SOBs stop reproducing, and ultimately die off into the sunset.

  • Mr. Wong

    ILWU running America into the ground. If only President Ronald Reagan was still in office!!!!

  • Mason G

    Agreed. I would rather closed my business, then seeing those SOB get a single penny more.

  • Ms. Upset

    these pics have nothing to do with how well they are taken. They are showing the Government just how bad this situation is. This is a shame!

  • Greedy Wrong Shoreman

    FACTS! – ILWU workers’ compensation package is believed to already be the most lucrative of any blue-collar in America. Full-time workers working 2,000 hours per year earn an average of $142,000 annually in wages and a benefits package that costs over $82,000 a worker. “Clerks” that work an average of 50 hours per week earn over $200,000. But “walking bosses,” the equivalent of warehouse foremen, can earn over $300,000.

    I am a custom wood worker, have worked 40 years perfecting my art and support a whole family on it making half of what they do. A very necessary item I use in my products has been sitting in one of these ships for almost 2 months anchored out at port. My customer’s have been patient as I have. EVERYBODY LOSES!

    • Onion Doctor

      Went to school for 12 years post secondary education to get a PhD in Plant Molecular Genetics and work as a researcher director and make 50% of what the ILWU base workers make. WOW, I pay a portion of my healthcare benefits too. Theirs are 100% paid by the employer. I have been following this situation because it effects shipping of perishable agricultural products and is taking a whole years crop income away from our farmers. The Crop insurance which was to take over the role of disaster relief does not have insurance to cover a port labor slow down by ILWU. Absolutely no sympathy ILWU workers. Continue on and you will kill the US West Coast ports and your own livelihood. Don’t expect me to give a rip when you are unemployed and wish you could drive a truck. The Gulf Cost ports are laughing all the way to the bank. They thank you for the business.

  • Upset Owner

    I’m going to go to Best Buy tonight and buy a $2,000 camera to take some beautiful photos of my empty shelves….oh wait, I can’t. Best Buy doesn’t have any camera’s left!

    Go Back to Work!

  • Greg G

    At what point will they bring in non union workers to unload ships? Longshoreman will not get paid when on strike however, their union leaders will continue to get their checks and push for a standoff.
    The ships on the water is their bread and butter and without them, they have nothing. The work they do for the pay is higher than most professionals and most small business owners. They make the most $ of all other union tradesman and they need to think of all the Americans they are hurting and companies they will put out of business.
    I was a union member for 20 years and would stand up for what is right however, after knowing what they make and want, shames me on the damage they are doing to the American people!

  • Kathy Shultz

    Thank you Michael Kelley (photographer) for bringing such a dark situation to the forefront and creating some light by increasing awareness. I sell musical instruments for a living and can’t afford to switch to a "holiday inventory" schedule like Costco did. I’ve had to lay off 2 great employees until I can get my products back in. I am now in my store from 8-8 with not much to sell and am not doing good.

    Here is a great article for Obama to read:

  • Marc Webster

    I have a small side business and as with many, I have a single part I nee don one of those ships. My products are made entirely in the USA save for this one single $12 item. If it were possible to get this part in the USA I would , but sadly its not an option. I am a mechanical engineer by trade and have a full time 50 hours a week job and I have my small thing on the side which had been growing until now. Even with both jobs, I don’t make what these SOB’s make to push paper. This is economic terrorism. Grover Cleveland broke up the Pullman railroad strike because after too long the strike was hurting the USA, why in 2015 are our govt officials not killing this thing. Luckily I can weather the storm, but i look like a fool to my customers and distributors as I am unable to sell a single item and I wont take backorders on things I cant see when I will receive parts. My heart goes out to all those small business owners affected by this and to the big companies a swell…


  • Concerned Trucking Guy

    I own a small trucking company that make our living from the ports. The drivers love what they do, and in normal times, make a decent living for what they do, their background, and education.

    Now we have labor how doesn’t care about the little guy. they are selfish. they hold out for $1 per hour. the current issues is they want the ability to fire the arbitrator if the arbitrator doesn’t rule in their favor.

    meanwhile our drivers are waiting up to 7 and 8 hrs at times. really? screw the little guy over $1 per hour to line your own pocket?

    the employers need to just shut them out, let them starve, and bring in people that want to work for a fair wage and are just happy to have a good job.

  • Adolfo

    Hi Mike,
    Fine work ! Something has to give very soon…. this is unprecedented…. Baltic Dry Index, EU, China, Australia interest rates…. Repatriation of gold is accelerating…
    Thanks for your support


  • v man

    That’s why all union members should be fired. They need to learn what it means to be a real American.

  • D Man

    Get rid of all the disputing overpaid union workers and get new ones in there that are actually willing to work!

  • Raymond Duke

    Beautiful pictures. The frustration felt about the present-day situation can be seen in the comments here.

    But what I don’t see in the comments are the facts, such as P.M.A’s role in the slowdown. Their decision to cut costs by changing rules about chasises increased wait times for truckers tremendously. I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes.

    As someone who worked for 7 years at the port … and has 6 family members in ILWU … and over 30 personal friends who work as unregistered casuals (temporary workers who do not earn a pension or receive any form of health care — there are over 5,000 casuals by the way), there’s a lot more happening here. P.M.A.’s making a play to phase-out the role of Longshoreman. And they’re doing so by manipulating the public to make everything think Longshoreman are greedy thugs.

    For the uninformed and uneducated, it’s working.

    Anyway, just had to drop my $0.02 here. Truth is, I’m not even 100% in favor of ILWU. They do a lot of things I don’t agree with. But in this situation — as you see in the beautiful pictures on this page — ILWU is NOT to blame.

    Yet if it makes you feel better to do so, no one’s stopping you.

    • Pest Control

      Please explain how you had 6 family members in ILWU ?

      Because ILWU kept all those high paying jobs saved for their family members. It is called the family business, aka Organized Crime.

      I am for the PMA not to pay those longshoreman Aholes overtime & holiday pay rate, when those Aholes, including your 6 family members do diddly sh1ts by setting on their ass, instead of putting in a good day of work.

      longshoreman SOBs do not need to be educated, all they needed is a few ILWU family members,

      Die, those freaking longshore-cockroaches

      There are plenty of people in the USA will work as dock worker for half the pays, and like one of the other posting had said. It is true that the best way to phase-out the cockroaches is to made them stop reproducing.

  • Lori Womack

    These Photographs are so beautiful yet tragic ! You can really see the impact of the situation
    each and everyday has been a challenge to move just one container and we celebrate each one that makes it on board a vessel.
    The impact to so many will be felt for a very long long time. The last straw was hearing the people of Samoa are running low on food . They depend on ocean freight they do not have rail or trucks very sad.
    I would love to see some aerial photos of the Oakland port area the Golden Gate would really make a nice backdrop on all of these ships .

    Praying we will have a solution very soon.

  • John Moss

    Raymond Duke, thanks for being a union apologist. But, you’re wrong. The excessive greed and over-reach of the Longshoremen is sickening.
    Also, many have posted about their lack of inventory and inability to put product on the shelf to sell. This is a terrible situation.
    But, there is also the disaster that is falling upon American exporters. My company cannot get our "Made in America" products shipped out to overseas markets. So, the unions are literally supporting foreign manufacturers and suppliers who are sweeping in to take American exporters market share. I had to shut down my plant and lay off hard working, skilled employees because I cannot send my products to willing buyers overseas. Dear Union members, get off you dead asses, take your extravagant compensation packages, and go back to work or get out of the way and let honest hard working people do the job!

    • Marc Webster

      "Dear Union members, get off you dead asses, take your extravagant compensation packages, and go back to work or get out of the way and let honest hard working people do the job!"

      Can I get an AMEN!

  • Catherine

    Fire the overpaid laggards. Hire military veterans trained and skilled in supply logistics, transportation, heavy equipment handling.

  • I'm Done

    This latest news of shutting down for the next 4 days broke my back – I just locked my doors. Blame who you want, but this has ruined everything I have worked for. Enjoy your $147K salaries + benefits Long Aholes!!!! While I sign up for Obama care at $200 a month while watching our "Commander" take selfies of himself instead of stepping in and forcing a solution (that video literally made me sick). For the first time of my life, I am ashamed of my country….at least the one I had grown up with. If I see him or any of you, I will simply walk the other way as my voice doesn’t matter anymore.

    • Gary

      Im saddened by your story, and I hope you will grow wiser and stronger, and overcome any challenge that comes your way. This is a challenge indeed, can be a great teacher in tough times, depends on your mindset.

  • Gary

    Reagan took care of this type of thing very easily when there was a railroad unions strike during his time. He made it very clear, anyone who doesn’t show up to work the next day is simply fired. Guess how quickly the problem was solved? The very next morning! Granted, it’s a bit dictatorial for a president to command free enterprise, but are they still to be treated as free enterprises when they criminally sabotage interstate commerce on our lands?

  • Wayne

    Pay attention to the rail industry, this could cripple the US

  • Stu "anti" NAFTA

    NAFTA has done more damage to the USA than this strike.

  • Concerned citizen

    Thank you for the pictures.
    I think that if any country or terrorists group caused as much economic destruction as the PMA/ILWU labor dispute has, we(the US) would have already declared war on them. Why do we allow our own to destroy our economy with no accountablity?

  • GG

    How sad. These economic terrorists are committing criminal acts and no one, especially the empty suit politicians that occupy the west coast, are doing anything about it. Bottom line, how can a group be allowed to operate with no performance standards, no performance reviews, no drug testing, and extortionist work rules. How can a person be fired one day and be back to work the next. I believe that if, as the ILWU says, the ports are congested and equipment is short, why do they not step up and work hard to try to make things better so that shippers and consignees would be encouraged to utilize the west coast. Why does the "leadership" not talk about how to make things better by taking some responsibility? Why to they make the union concept look so bad? With this performance, the business is fleeing to Canada, Mexico, and the east coast. It will be a long time before it comes back, if ever. In the end, they need performance standards as they are the highest paid, lowest producing union in the developed world…..

  • John

    Enact the Railway Labor Act signed on May 26,1926 by President Coolidge.

  • D

    ORRR, we could begin to produce our own goods in our own country and skip this entire process couldn’t we… Stop blaming unions and start buying/supporting American made or this will only get worse.

    • T

      It isn’t just buying / using American. It goes with the exports of our products as well. I am sitting on a lot of inventory in the frozen food production business. Most of it goes for export usually. If we cannot export it, then we have to slow down our production process. If we slow down the production process, then we put people out of work. If we put people out of work, then they lose their houses, their livelihood and it hurts the whole US economy. This issue that has been ongoing for so long needs to be resolved NOW as it is hurting way more people in the US than just the port areas along the West Coast.

  • Follow the capital

    To all of you commenting that this is a strike, it is NOT. It is a partial lockout by the shippers because THEY (the shipping companies) were not getting their way in negotiations… If you feel like commenting on the ILWU please first list the number of international shippers which you know went bankrupt in the past ten years first.

  • $0.02

    Raymond Duke

    Your comment clearly expose how corrupted the ILWU was.

    Having 6 family members in the ILWU is not a proud "family heritage", it just shows that you would never got a well paying longshoremen job if you do not have the "family" connections.

    Monopoly is not against the US law, however, ILWU is an organization with monopoly power, If ILWU do not have the badge of a "union", it would be considered as a organization breaking the antitrust law.

    Here are some facts about the proud US longshoremen efficiency:

    the same size container ship normally get unloaded and loaded within 24 hours at the port of Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan or Japan. In the US, it would normally take 48~72 hours, and now about 4~5 days or more.

    A container ship normally would take 11 days to complete an voyage from Asia to the US, now, it would take 10~14 days to complete the unloading & loading at the port of Long Beach, and another 7~10 days to get the containers out of the gate.

    Automation at the Los Angeles Ports, or even the other ports in the US were far behind(as much as 10 years) other ports in Asia, Europe and even ports in Africa. Now, US is the 3rd world country compared with the others. ILWU’s beef with the PMA were more about Automation, Authority & Job Losses.

    • Raymond Duke

      I only mentioned family members to demonstrate I have an understanding of the port beyond what you hear about in the media.

      A monopoly is not against the law. And guess what? The PMA is a monopoly, too.

      My intention with my post was to shed more light on the situation, and explain that it’s not the union’s fault that there are so many ships stuck at sea right now.

      But it seems many people read what I said incorrectly, and want to use more misunderstood "facts" to reaffirm their beliefs.

      Like most things in politics, it’s not about what’s true — it’s about what people believe to be true.

      While we could go back and forth about our believes, frankly, I’d rather not.

      I have work to do. And unless you want to pay me to have a conversation with you (my consulting fee is $250 an hour), we’re done talking.

  • Sarah

    @ Raymond Duke…How do you figure that the current crisis is not the fault of the ILWU!?! PMA has their offer on the table. A 14% wage increase over 5 years on top of the current average of $147,000 per year. Maintains the fully paid health care worth $35,000 and an increase of pensions to $88,880 and gives the ILWU jurisdiction over the chassis maintenance and repair. Yes, it is sad that part time workers "only" make $83,000 a year. And yet, the gridlock remains because you and your ilk are absolutely the most selfish individuals I have ever had the displeasure of having to deal with.
    I am an exporter (for now). Not sure how much longer I can hold out. I am shipping now out of Canada and the east coast at a much higher expense and longer transit time. You are destroying American families and the American economy. I have no idea how you can sleep at night.
    Call your union reps and demand they agree to the new contract. Get back to work and stop freaking destroying other people’s lives. I would be so ashamed of myself if I were you.

  • Art Vandelay

    Mr. $0.02 – you’re totally spot on.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Good to see people finally waking up to this horrible situation on our west coast.

  • Facts mam.

    This union is doing it’s job while it can. I don’t mean to polarize but the Republicans are coming and the union knows it. All unions are aware that this next year are the last chance to get fat. Albeit over-zealously. As real as you wish to consider that, right now it is the workers who are letting their leadership step on their personal integrity. The workers, still, ultimately control the union and they have to feel in their guts this is wrong. They probably feel the union is more powerful than they are.

    It is ironic that the power they need are in their numbers created by the union they must now resist to take their lives back while they can.

  • RenoJAX

    I am over this. Completely over this. The Unions need a wake up call and get in line with the rest of the American population. After this is over, I’m lobbying my Senators hard for some legislation that is representative of 2015. Our Technology at Ports is embarrassing, at best. Done.

  • Randy

    I work in a retail job and this union issue has cost my company and myself major issues with returns and unsatisfied customers. I really hope the ports hold strong and the union worker’s end up with less or nothing at all. Union workers are the reason why there is almost no manufacturing left in the USA. Look at Detroit and the car manufacturing in the US. What will it take to make union workers understand that driving a forklift isn’t worth or deserve 50.00 bucks an hour. No wonder companies leave the US and set up shop in other countries. If you think you are under paid, just quit and see what the market and workforce has to offer. Unions are the worst thing to happen to American jobs. Happy job hunting union dead weights.

    • Shon

      Randy, clearly you have NO IDEA of what your speaking about. You or anyone else who ISN’T in our industry shouldn’t have a word to say about what we get paid. We deserve MORE than what we are getting paid to put up with the hazardous job we have. Your clearly someone who WISHES they were qualified enough to be considered for employment in our industry, We will get everything we want AND MORE, because at the end of the day those ships need to be loaded and unloaded, and YOU RANDY, aren’t qualified to do so. So with that I’m gone, i will be enjoying my 100$ cigar and my 700$ bottle of single malt scotch, because this is the life I’ve been afforded and deserve. Good luck with explaining to your customers why thier product is out to sea

      • Shane

        OMG Shon, because no one can move containers around.. lol did you have to get a college degree do drive a forklift?? lol! you move a container from point A to point B. REAL TOUGH! get back to work, this is hurting every business!

    • Jhonthebee

      Randy . you really amazed me how misinformed you are . The unions have been quite for a long time . Ok and you think that it is because unions are demanding higher wages that is why corporations outsourcing their jobs outside the country ? so how come they didn’t outsource their CEOs and high executives jobs since they are the highest payed CEOs in the world ?

      And you think the wages that have been asked by unions are too high ? Did you know that we have the lowest wages ever vs the highest productivity in united state history . Do your homework before tossing the corporatists’s salad

      Conservatives told us that when corporations make record profits . They will stay home . hire more people and give everybody a raise . Well now they have been making record profits for 5 years at least . What happened is the opposite . The middle-class is disappearing , More and more of the population is falling into poverty . Because of the ignorant conservatives instead of joining a good cause and stand up for the little guy . They choose to stand up for corporations , fat cats and the wall street bullies that are screwing everybody they are robbing you blind everyday and you have no clue . They are destroying your life and when god finally blessed us with some unions that are standing up for you and me . That is your response ? if there was no unions mister genius you would be working 16 hours a day and still live on charity with no holidays no benefits no overtime no workmans comp no retirement no social security and still go to your moms basement to sleep and your kids instead of going to school they will be working at age of 6 years old minimum of 8 hours a day .

      Now how to fix the problem is to make it illegal for corporations that are registered in American soil to move out of the country simple . And if they do move some of their production overseas we will just ban them all together from united states . We can allow their competitors from any where in the world to do business here in united states . By the time we will be done with them they will wish they were never born those SOBs

      Did you know if every body stood up with them they could double their wages and what that could do to all our wages and your wages ? everybody would get a raise . The media and the fat cats they really did a good job and made you a good boy i hope they teached how to fetch and stand on one foot waiting on your treats and bones .

    • John-Richard Maenpaa

      Yup, Unions are definitely the problem, just like our televisions and radios tell us they are, bcause they wouldn’t lie to us, would they? Not our TV’s!!!

      Trouble is, Norway is the most unionized country on the planet, and has an actual unemployment rate of 3.5%, as opposed to our actual rate of 11.3%.

      While Germany, which is very nearly as unionized, has the world’s 2nd largest trade surplus. Maybe I need to repeat that; TRADE SURPLUS!

      True story…

    • John-Richard Maenpaa

      But you’re right, you are way too overpaid and underworked, especially when there are asians perfectly capable of doing your job for a fraction, and ever-so grateful for the opportunity…

      Hey Alibaba! Hey Amazon! This genius is eager to be made redundant!!!

  • tom

    This situation occurred in Australia a few years ago – we had the worst container handling rates in the world. There were strikes, lockouts and general mayhem. A competitor bought out his main opposition, retired 80% of the workforce, automated the wharfs and whala we are world standard!


  • Craig B.

    To every poster who claims to own a business or factory that has shut downdown, please say the name of your business so it can be researched. That way we know that you are not just some conservative nut job trying to scare people with stories that can’t be verified.

  • Wotwu

    Workers turn on eachother while the Capitalists laugh their way to the bank…


  • DB

    I support the unions and the small/medium businesses, the maids, janitors, labuorers, paper pushers, the supervisors, managers and business owners- all people need to wake up to the fact that we are all fighting everyday over an accelerating progressively shrinking piece of the pie. Instead of fighting over the scraps we all need to work togeather- the money is there to meet everyone’s needs.


  • James L.

    To all the fake Repuke posters on here:
    Your BS stories of much $$$ you have lost and all your hardships are just that. BS stories.
    Your anti-union, anti-worker, pro-business posts are pure garbage. Same as you. Now, I am going to head down to the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach and deliver hot coffee and donuts FREE to any longshoreman who wants/needs it, untill I have spent $500USD of my own money supporting LABOR.

    • Jim Jones

      Why don’t you go find a job or to work instead?

    • Lisa

      My company and the rest of commerce keep you employed. You have no idea how big of an effect this has on commerce, consumers and our economy. Cry baby union workers – that’s all you are. Unions are alive ONLY to fund politics and people like you need them because you are UNEMPLOYABLE otherwise. Loser.

    • Coffee and Donuts

      James Lame – Hey Jack A##! Would you head down to my empty warehouse in San Diego that I’m spending $2000 a month on empty racks! I’d love some of your coffee and donuts. We can sit around the forklift and talk about my BS! Let me know I’ll pm you….I’d love to hang out sometime.

  • Jen

    wow….. look at all the consumer goods brought into this country. Do we really need all this stuff?
    How long can the planet earth sustain this endless hunger for cheap goods? I say shut down the Ports if they will not adhere to the longshoremen’s cry for fairness to our workers. We really need a wake up call America the Corporations have eroded our common workers living wage, the banks own all the real estate property you are just a renter even if you think you are a purchaser, the government wants you on food stamps and welfare, or in a war, the courts only hear you if your counsel is paid well so you can be heard. Justice is blind, only money will sway it. Wake up American workers!!!

    • lara

      Yes, Jen, we need these products. They are parts and equipment that supply goods and electronics to our nation’s hospitals, nursing homes, etc. When TV’s cannot deliver to these hospitals b/c they are stuck in this mess, there are many upset people, hospitals, patients, etc. So yes, we need them. Cheap goods? Maybe as far as the labor to manufacture the goods, and that’s only because they can’t be done in the US for the same amount. Business is business, no matter how you look at it.

  • GG

    Hello, Jen, James, and DB, glad to hear your comments…did the union hall send you? Think about it…this is not about unions…this is about working and producing and doing a good job…all that is not happening with the longshoremen. How do you justify paying these "workers" the wages they get for producing so little. They are the lowest producing, highest paid union in the developed world. All the sensible people are asking for is productivity to match the wages, not anything else. Do not each of you take pride in the job you do? Get all to settle and get back to work or there will not be any work at the customers are fleeing the W/C as fast as they can go to Canada, Mexico and the non unionized ports of the E/C….why, because they produce.

  • Art Vandelay

    I find it continually frustrating that the pro-Union Labor force pushers are all preaching their woes and ‘supporting the little’ guy, and fighting ‘corporate greed’. When it comes down to it, these ILWU workers are FAR from the Little Guy they preach about (ie: highest paid blue color in the US) and when it comes to greed itself, these Longshoreman are freighting for more and more power, higher wages, and stronger benefits than any typical American will ever see. Or probably should see. Highly skilled, educated, or not. It’s all about greed, and power… follow the money. An uneducated barely high-school grad shouldn’t be making over $100k a year. But yet, getting into the ILWU will likely promise that. Why, do you say? Good question. Power. Power to hold our country hostage at will.

    It’s all very hypocritical. Everyday people don’t get these jobs! These longshore jobs are GIFTED to them by family and strong connections.

    The system is broken, very broken.

    • Robert Gentry

      Who ate you to say how much someone should earn? You dont like how much you are making compared to someone else? Quit, and do their job. you would be surprised at how dangerous and difficult those jobs are.

  • T

    WOW! My company has been dealing with the repercussions from this dispute and to finally see an actual picture of this it makes it that much more real! I am amazed by the amount of people that are not aware of this issue.

  • Art Vandelay

    “The White House is responding to a great deal of pressure,” said international trade economist Jock O’Connell. A federal mediator has already been involved for a month, and the two sides are still struggling, so its unclear how much Secretary of Labor – Mr. Perez can help, he said….

    The ILWU has had Obama Administration in its hip pocket all this time. Democrat campaign funds are likely at stake.

    Any doubt which side this Mr. Perez is going to force-ably ask to cave in ???

  • Amanda

    My husband drives a semi taking these containers where they need to go and we own our own semi. Due to the issues and the cargo being stuck at sea his work is jeopardized until these issues resolved. It isn’t just the "cheap goods" in the containers on those ships. These container ships being unable to unload hurts several people not just big companies but my family!

  • Jim Jones

    In the 80’s our union contract was very specific in what order the employees would be laid-off in times of hardship for the company. However, when the economical hardships hit the company, the union bailed and protected their jobs instead of following the contract as written – funny, they got sent home when the doors closed. Front office personnel (with very little seniority) were transferred into the shop areas, causing other senior and more qualified employees to be sent home. I will never join a union again – I don’t need them to keep my job. Screw me over once shame on you, screw me over twice, shame on me).

  • Justin J
    Here is a link to an article explaining Hondas production halt. What is not described in this article in detail are the 100’s of smaller supplier factories that are directly hit by this strike. It may not be a big deal to you but when someone who makes $14 an hr in a factory suddenly starts getting less than 40 hours a week it becomes a struggle. I work at a plant in GA 40 minutes west of Atlanta where 100s of employees were informed this morning they will be only receiving 32 hours of work with the very likely possibility of receiving even less the longer this strike continues. This isn’t only about cheap goods from Asia this has the potential to be a massive economic hit. It sad when greed trumps all.

  • Tim

    shon. As a non Union crane and equipment operator I am more than qualified to do your job pay your own medical tax to your God Obama and go back to work millions on welfare need your tax dollars


    Union brings down Detroit years ago., now it is time for LGB, OAK & SEA.
    Compare to ILWU, the ISIS is stupid. The ISIS should learn from ILWU to bring down U.S. from inside. The ISIS must be welcome the union people to join in since they both had the same target – bring down the U.S.

    • William Anthony Jacob

      Panda you are a FUCK IN idiot. Unions built this country and our economy has never been as strong while unions had as much to say. It is the rich and GREEDY who want to pay a less then sustainable wage that fuck all of our economy up. I am guessing you are some dumb bitch who has no clue what unions provide and you hate unions based on your ignorance of the truth. Fuck off and I hope you rot

  • Ed.B

    Isn’t it funny how so many people no so much about a union and have never been in one or worked around one.I’m sure they love paying for there own health care with there low wages.

  • Gonzalo

    Panda, I could not be more in agreement with your comments

  • David

    Block these bastards — these ports should not be opened until everybody is working. Non-union scum should be beaten and sent to China.

  • zeez

    I don’t know anything about this, but I can tell you that while you are probably fighting for a worthy cause there are a lot of innocent victims along the way who have been impacted by this. You are also hurting your own country as many have now decided its just too hard hard to buy from the US due to the time to get it off the port

  • Lee Don

    I live east of the Mississipi and Thanks for showing these pictures giving great insight to the horrendous backlog of container ships in route to deliver containers to United States but find themselves blockaded and unable to do so once arriving at these ports. The container ships are transporting many and varied items: needed, wanted and to be purchased and used by Americans but currently unable to deliver goods.. I was unaware until reading this blog. Thanks for the clear, factual and unbiased info presented helping to inform the people of what is happening here and now.

  • sam

    stop the imports… Keep jobs here… What a waste of our people and resources!!!
    What – oh yea we are about to become a welfair nation. Some products are needed but our Gov. is not for us..

  • Salina Micky

    I love to visit amazing places in the world with my husband and this is an amazing list for me. In search of some more amazing places i found here.

  • Yucel

    The parking lot of trucks tucked in is pretty amazing. Great shots.

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