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Longshore workers will reject Russian imports and exports

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 19:31:44-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Longshore workers across the West Coast say they will refuse to move any Russian imports or exports through our nation's ports.

In a series of tweets Thursday, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said with this action it was sending a "strong message that we unequivocally condemn the Russian invasion."

The action extends to 29 ports along the West Coast from San Diego to Bellingham, Wash.

But while the 20,000-worker union is taking the stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ramifications to Russia will likely be small.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Russian imports make up a fraction of 1 percent of what comes into both the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

In San Diego, a port spokeswoman told ABC-10 it does zero imports or exports with Russia, which in 2019 was the nation's 20th largest trading partner.

"I think this is more symbolic than having a major impact on the Russian economy. Most of the trade that is coming from the west coast is coming from Asia," said Alan Gin, economist at the University of San Diego.

Russia sent the USA $22.3 billion of goods in 2019, mostly mineral fuels, precious metals, iron and steel, and fertilizer.

A local representative for the longshore workers union was not made available for comment Friday.