AmericasPorts and Logistics

Groups urge White House to engage in ports labour negotiations

The American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Travel Goods Association jointly sent a letter this week to President Biden and Vice President Harris regarding the ongoing International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) contract negotiations at US West Coast ports. The groups urged the administration to engage in the negotiations to ensure the needs of both the workers and the ports are met, and further backups, delays and inflationary costs are avoided.

The three organizations stressed in the letter that “it is imperative that a final contract is reached that avoids any supply chain disruptions.” They said that failure to reach an agreement would “be to the detriment of the US economy, American importers and exporters, the tens of millions of workers they employ, and the hundreds of millions of consumers they serve,” and they want to see the White House “encourage both parties to remain at the table until an agreement is finalized.”

Further, the associations noted that the discussions present an opportunity for the PMA, the ILWU and the Biden administration to “address systemic operational challenges at US ports” to support economic growth and mitigate potential disruptions in the future. They emphasised the need for infrastructure modernisation and enabling transparency, data sharing, and interoperability to facilitate end-to-end visibility.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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