The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to news that activity at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has largely stopped as a result of a strike of the local International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Today, full membership of the ILWU Local 63 Office Clerical Unit walked out, joining a number of their peers who went on strike Tuesday and defied an order from a labor arbitrator to return to work Tuesday night. In addition, the remaining members of the ILWU have refused to cross picket lines, stranding cargo destined for the ports.
“A work stoppage at America’s two busiest ports just as the holiday shopping season begins is a recipe for disaster,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “If the strike isn’t resolved quickly, the effects on retailers, their customers and the economy will be enormous. We urge the parties to quickly resolve the dispute and get back to work in order to avoid the substantial economic damage a prolonged work stoppage would surely cause.”
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad