(Alex Lennane — The Loadstar)
The US National Retail Federation (NRF) has urged President Obama to step in to prevent an east and gulf coast port strike, following the breakdown of talks between the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the International Longshoremen’s Association union over the issue of container royalties. Both parties have blamed the other for rejecting to prolong the 90-day extension, brought into force when the previous contract expired at the end of September.
“The retail industry, once again, calls on President Obama to engage directly in the negotiations,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF vice president for supply chain and customs policy. “The president should utilize all available tools, including Taft-Hartley, to eliminate even the threat of a strike or lockout. The time for leadership is now.”
The economic impact of the recent strikes at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles was about $2.5bn per day, according to Sean Strawbridge, managing director of Trade Relations and Port Operations of the Port of Long Beach.
The east coast strike was averted just before the ports’ busiest time of the year in September when the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service became involved and suggested the extension. But a second extension is looking increasingly unlikely, say both parties. Read more here.