OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Operations were returning to normal at the Port of Oakland Tuesday morning after a daylong port blockade along the West Coast, port officials said.
Demonstrators had dispersed from the area surrounding the Port of Oakland before dawn Tuesday, they left behind long lines of truckers waiting outside several berths.
“Occupy Wall Street” members from different Bay Area contingents picketed early Monday through the early hours of Tuesday to shut down the Oakland port to stand in solidarity with International Longshore and Warehouse Union members in a labor dispute with grain exporter EGT in Longview, Wash., and with truck drivers in Los Angeles, who are classified as independent contractors and do not receive benefits.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
Charles Baca spent the entire day in his rig during what was largely peaceful protest that disrupted business enough that 150 longshoremen were sent home without pay.
“Capitalism only works in an honest society,” he said, and the demonstrators were misguided about where to pin the blame for what’s dragging down the economy.
Baca said he could not afford to risk getting out of line and further delaying a shipment of frozen beef bound from the Midwest for Japan. So he spent the day in his truck outside Berth 30 watching television and making phone calls amid the marches and sit-ins.
Group members voted to leave the port after blocking truck drivers coming in for a 3 a.m. shift.
“This is quite a moment in the Occupy movement,” protesters said Tuesday morning, claiming the blockade a victory.
Port officials considered the protests more of a disruption.
“These disruptions cost workers shifts and wages, delaying and reducing paychecks. They also cost the Port and City of Oakland vital resources. They hurt the many businesses that pay taxes and help us create jobs,” officials said Tuesday morning.
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