Labor Dispute Affects West Coast Port Operations, Impacts Retailers
Dockworkers at West Coast ports are disrupting international trade, according to the Pacific Maritime Association. Two of the six marine terminals at the Port of Long Beach remained closed during the day shift Monday, as “operators of those terminals made the decision to close based on operational needs, and will reopen for the evening shift,” the port said in a statement. The association (PMA) and International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union represents the dockworkers who have been negotiating a new contract since May 10, 2022. The union, which represents 22,000 workers at 29 US West Coast ports, said on Friday that they remained committed to negotiating a good agreement for their workers as talks continued. The union did not address the work disruptions.
Total Retail's Take: Earlier this week the National Retail Federation (NRF) called on the Biden administration to intervene and help broker a resolution to the labor issues at the West Coast ports, which handle retail goods coming into the country from Asia. Supply chain challenges have been a recurring theme for retailers in recent years.
“The United States ports, particularly those on the West Coast, play a critical role in the vitality of the American economy," said NRF Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French in a company press release. "Thousands of retailers and other businesses depend on smooth and efficient operations at the ports to deliver goods to consumers every day.
“As we enter the peak shipping season for the holidays, these additional disruptions will force retailers and other important shipping partners to continue to shift cargo away from the West Coast ports until a new labor contract is established. It's imperative that the parties return to the negotiating table. We urge the administration to mediate to ensure the parties quickly finalize a new contract without additional disruptions.”