The Port of New Harbor is a deep-water port approximately 83 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Its three gantry cranes load and offload some 250 cargo vessels that visit the port annually. The port facility can handle some 10 million tons in foreign commerce (imports and exports). The diversity of cargo through the port includes automobiles, steel, forest products, petroleum, coal and fresh produce such as bananas. The port has also handled specialized cargo such as Antares rocket parts from Ukraine and wind turbine blades from South America.
Recently, there has been an increase in workplace hostility at the port with most of the incidents occurring between veteran longshoremen and newly hired dockworkers. The majority of the recently hired dockworkers identify themselves as immigrants from Syria. Often keeping to themselves during meal and rest breaks, other co-workers have found their withdrawn attitudes as insulting and suspicious, especially with concerns of security with the potential of terrorism attacks. Based on reports of increased hostility at the Port of New Harbor, Robert Johnson has been asked to facilitate a four-session workshop on diversity and cultural understanding for employees. Many of the new workers at the port recently emigrated from Syria. They keep to themselves most of the time, except for after work, when many of them meet at a local park for pickup game of soccer.
Robert Johnson’s Response
“Due to my involvement in the community center and conflict manager, management at the plant have asked me to facilitate a workshop to assist the men in understanding and respecting one another’s cultural norms and to be more tolerant of cultural differences.”