unloaded or not unloaded?


For several days in August 2014, the Israeli ship ZIM Piraeus sat at the docks in the Port of Oakland, blockaded by community pickets. According to reports quoted by much of the media, the ship was finally unloaded. More likely, the ship was sent back to sea with most of its cargo still aboard.


Some ideas on the cargo transfer by Peter Turner
August 24, 2014

I just communicated with someone who knows how many working for how long to do cargo transfer. We call each movement of a container on or off the ship a "move". My source said that in today's operations it takes about three minutes per move, at least at slow speed. We have been told that one gang worked the Piraeus on a slow down, and one source termed that gang "a skeleton crew", although he might have meant just one gang. We know the gang was pressed into work against their will and the dispatch rules. We have also been told the gang turned to about 10 PM, took an hour break at 11:30, and knocked off about 4 AM. We were also told about half the gang did not return after lunch. Let's do the math:

One and a half hours at twenty moves per hour equals thirty moves. Half the crew returns, meaning half the speed (Lashing gangs remove the restraints from the containers, or place them, allowing containers to be offloaded or secured for sea.), so three and a half hours at ten moves per hour equals thirty five moves. The total equals sixty five moves. A reliable contact we have saw the ship as it was departing for sea and said he thought about fifty containers had been offloaded. If the crew slowed their work, as has been reported, that would seem to be a good guess.

Compare that to what Merilees said: The ship was completely offloaded while the ship was at Pier 22-24. That would take a couple thousand moves if taken literally, but he might have meant the cargo intended for Oakland, so whatever that was, but my source guessed about eight hundred moves. Remember, that's just the offloading, so the backloading would take as much. If the ship only offloaded, they only got half their work done.

Only when we get the final information will we know for sure, but I think about fifty containers offloaded is a good estimate. I can say for certain that it was less than one hundred. You can circulate this. Our confidential contact has been BCC'ed and he can choose whether to reply to any of us. He will remain confidential.

PETER TURNER

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Here is an
interview with retired longshoreman Howard Keylor, participating in the blockade.