Retailers Call on Port Parties to Remain at Negotiating Table

In Industry News, What's New by Accessories Staff

shippingWashington—With reports that on reports that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association are taking a break from contract negotiations, retailers are more worried than ever about shipments they expect for fourth quarter and beyond.

The National Retail Federation issued FRiday the following statement from President/CEO Matthew Shay on reports that the two parties in the West Coast port negotiations are taking their time.

“We are greatly disappointed that the parties have decided to take an extended break from the ongoing contract negotiations. After six months of negotiations we have seen very little progress.

“We reiterate our call on President Obama to immediately engage the parties to get them back to the negotiating table. It’s time the parties accept a federal mediator to help them bridge the gaps and arrive at a new contract. Without a contract, stakeholders cannot work on addressing the ongoing congestion issues at the ports.

“We urge the two sides to end the brinkmanship and return to the talks immediately. The nation’s retailers, our vendors and suppliers, and our customers are counting on the two parties to act responsibly.”

Earlier this year, NRF and the National Association of Manufacturers released a report that found a West Coast port shutdown would cost the economy about $2 billion a