UPDATE: West Coast Labor Negotiations
With just two weeks until the current contract expires on June 30, West Coast labor negotiations appear to be progressing towards mutual agreement. According to reports in trade press, talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing West Coast ports, have been characterized as "ongoing and positive" by PMA president Jim McKenna.
Few Details Available
The two parties issued a joint press release last week with the assurance that negotiations were continuing and that talks had not been suspended as suggested by a report in the media. Detailed information is rarely provided when such negotiations are taking place, but the joint statement was widely perceived by the industry to be a positive indicator.
While there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the talks, earlier this year McKenna warned that an agreement should not be expected by July 1. Historically, unions and port owners tend to perceive it as an advantage when negotiations extend past contract deadlines. This can be especially true for the ILWU since their 'no-strike' clause will expire on June 30.
Contingency Planning for AIT Customers
In the event of a West Coast labor disruption, AIT has a contingency plan in place for our customers. If necessary, the company is prepared to re-route cargo to Canadian and East Coast ports with trucking available to all final domestic destinations. While there is a cost associated with re-routing cargo, AIT's experts will offer re-routing solutions that best fit customer needs taking all factors into consideration.
Please contact your AIT Account Executive or our sea operations experts for more information including re-routing options.
As always, we thank you for your continued business with AIT as your global transportation management partner.