West Coast Port Talks to Resume Wednesday

ImportsLos Angeles—Negotiation talks over the West Coast longshore workers and their employers are expected to resume Wednesday after a three day hiatus.

In a joint release, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association announced that they will not meet today and Tuesday so the ILWU can gather for its Longshore Division Caucus in San Francisco, which had been previously scheduled.

The results of the talks and undisruptive cargo deliveries are crucial to retailers whose merchandise for the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons is arriving.

Evidently fears over a slowdown or even work stoppage has resulted in larger-than-normal flow of imports in June compared to last year. In Los Angeles, overall cargo volumes were up 13.89% to 736,438 container units, while Long Beach experienced an 8% rise in June with 610,516 units.

Since May, ILWU and PMA have been working toward a new contract that covers nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports, including the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The last contract originally expired July 1.

Both sides stressed that they are committed to getting a contract signed without business disruption.

“While there is no contract extension in place, both parties have pledged to keep cargo moving,” according to the joint statement.



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