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Trade Groups Urge Biden to Help West Coast Port Labor Negotiations

Written by Laura Miller

A coalition of trade groups is urging President Joe Biden to help with the ongoing West Coast port labor negotiations.

transport coilsNegotiations for a long-term labor agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have been ongoing for more than 10 months with no end in sight. Workers at the ports have been without a contract since expiration of the previous one in July.

In March, a group of more than 200 trade associations signed on to a letter to Biden, saying “It is imperative that the administration work with the parties to quickly reach a new agreement and ensure there is no disruption to port operations and cargo fluidity.”

“The only way the parties can reach an agreement that will ensure the continued competitiveness of the ports and the supply chain stakeholders who rely upon them is to remain at the table until a new agreement is finalized,” the letter stated.

Among those signing the letter were the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); national and state trucking, rail, and manufacturing associations; and various supply chain, retail, and other trade associations.

The letter noted that shipping decisions for this summer’s peak shipping season have already been made. Cargo volumes are down as flows have already shifted away from the West Coast due to the uncertainty of the labor situation. Despite the lower cargo volumes, supply chain stresses and challenges remain.

“While we appreciate that the parties agreed not to engage in a strike or a lockout, we are aware of several instances of activities that have impacted terminal operations. We need the administration to ensure these activities do not continue or escalate,” the associations said.

By Laura Miller,

Laura Miller

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