Dock Workers' Strike After Fatal Accident Freezes Loading at Oakland Port

Workers at the nation's fourth-largest port stayed off the job Tuesday, bringing the loading and unloading of ships to a halt, after a longshoreman was crushed to death by a shipping container, officials said.

The 15-ton container was being locked onto the top of another container on the deck of a cargo ship at the Port of Oakland when it slipped and fell on the worker Monday afternoon, said John Showalter, spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The Alameda County coroner's office identified the victim as Reginald Ross, 39, of San Francisco.

The nearly 1,500 members of ILWU Longshore Local 10 did not go to work Tuesday as investigators probed the accident. Workers will return to the job pending the outcome of a safety review under way per the union's contract, Showalter said.

Even if workers return Wednesday, port officials said it would be at least five days before the port could overcome the cargo backlog and return to normal operations.

"Certainly there will be some kind of ripple effect," port spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur said.