Labor Secretary sent to West Coast for Port Negotiations
The White House announced last Saturday that they would intervene to seek an end to a labor dispute which has led to costly delays in West Coast shipping. U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was sent on Monday to San Francisco, where negotiations between the dockworkers union and maritime associated has come to a halt. He has traveled to California to “meet with the parties to urge them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table,” according to a statement issued by Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman.
Over the holiday weekend, companies locked out workers who unload container ships which has brought 29 seaports to a halt. At the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, there are currently 33 vessels waiting for space.
The decision to intervene in contract negotiations came as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and agricultural exporters said they had already lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of mounting port congestion, with spare parts and consumer products from Asia not arriving on time and exports like oranges and apples left to rot.
For about nine months, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, whose workers unload cargo, then move it onto trucks and trains, has been in negotiations with ship owners, represented by the Pacific Maritime Association. The negotiations cover operations at 29 ports, including large ones in Long Beach and Los Angeles, in Southern California; Oakland in Northern California; and the Puget Sound.
PNG Worldwide continues to monitor the situation and we will keep our customers updated as this progresses. If you have any questions with regards to how this may affect your shipments, please contact PNG Worldwide at email@example.com or 717-626-1107 X 2.