Port workers began lining up at 5 a.m. today, ready to get back to work after demonstrators managed to close the nation's fifth-busiest port as part of a massive West Coast effort to shake up the 1 percent.
Only it wasn't the 1 percent they were necessarily interrupting. According to the
Port of Oakland, Monday's 24-hour protest came at a high price to the workers,
costing them much-needed shifts as well as reduced and delayed paychecks. Longshoremen were sent home yesterday morning after hundreds of protesters descended on the terminals, blocking gates through the day. Workers who were scheduled for the evening shift at the port were asked not to come in after officials determined the ongoing protests were creating unsafe working conditions.
"They hurt the many businesses that pay taxes and help us create jobs," Port officials said in a statement this morning. "These disruptions also distracted us from the productive work we need to be focused on to create more jobs and economic opportunities for the region."
Thousands of protesters were still swarming the port early this morning, preventing the 3 a.m. shift of longshoremen from coming to work. But by 7 a.m., demonstrators gave in and completely cleared the area around the port, allowing business to resume, officials said.
"All marine terminals have ordered ILWU labor for the 7 a.m. shift, and truckers have already begun lining up as of 5:30 a.m.," port officials said. "There are seven vessels at dock that will be worked today. Due to the protests during the last 24 hours, there is a heavy backlog of work to get through."
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