The nation’s top labor official ratcheted up pressure on the two sides haggling over a new contract for dockworkers at West Coast seaports, reportedly saying if they don’t reach an agreement by Friday, they’ll have to leave California and negotiate in Washington.
Maritime companies are making their case for a new labor contract directly to West Coast dockworkers, hoping the rank-and-file will pressure union negotiators to reach a deal that would let billions of dollars of cargo now stuck at West Coast ports flow freely again.
The two sides have been trying to negotiate a new contract for months, and as tensions have risen the rate that cargo is moving has slowed.
A federal mediator is stepping in to help negotiate contract talks between West Coast dockworkers and shipping companies.
While West Coast seaports struggle to keep up with billions of dollars of cargo, dockworkers and their employers apparently aren’t close to a new contract nearly six months after their old deal expired.
As importers struggle to get their products from massive ships docking at West Coast ports onto store shelves, dockworkers and their employers continue negotiating a new contract.
Labor strife at major West Coast sea ports is threatening the delivery of holiday goods that consumers expect and retailers need to turn a profit.
Workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are negotiating a new contract with their employers at 29 West Coast ports, but their action was unrelated to those talks.
The West Coast ports that are America’s gateway for hundreds of billions of dollars of trade with Asia and beyond are no stranger to labor unrest and even violence.