Cruise lines unaffected by port labor dispute

LOS ANGELES -- Cruise ships with calls along the West Coast are operating normally, despite the ongoing labor dispute between union longshoremen and the Pacific Maritime Association.

Members of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union, who handle the loading and removal of cruise ship baggage and stored goods, have been locked out of 29 ports since Sept. 29 by the PMA, an organization of ship operators and West Coast terminals.

But the ILWU said earlier this week its members still are working passenger ships and military cargo. None of the major cruise lines are members of the PMA.

And cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises, have in some cases contracted directly with the ILWU to handle baggage and supplies during the lockout.

"Passengers shouldn't see any difference," a Carnival spokeswoman said; she added the line had no plans to skip port calls.

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