Groups Push White House to Act in Ports Labor Negotiations

RILA, AAFA, TGA Urge Biden Administration to Engage in West Coast Labor Negotiations
Failure means increased supply chain disruptions and higher costs for consumers

Washington, DC – Today the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Travel Goods Association jointly sent a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris regarding the ongoing International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) contract negotiations at the West Coast ports. The groups urge 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 letter notes:
“There is less than a month before the contract expires and if both parties don’t remain at the table and the current negotiations don’t make meaningful progress toward an agreement, the consequences will exacerbate existing supply chain challenges. This will be to the detriment of the U.S. economy, American importers and exporters, the tens of millions of workers they employ, and the hundreds of millions of consumers they serve.”

“We urge you to encourage both parties to remain at the table until an agreement is finalized because even a relatively brief port slowdown or shutdown would compound current supply chain challenges and cause long-lasting damage to consumer confidence and American businesses.”

“We also hope that the Administration, the PMA, and the ILWU will leverage this opportunity to address systemic operational challenges at U.S. ports, supporting infrastructure modernization and enabling transparency, data sharing and interoperability to facilitate end-to-end visibility. These important issues must be addressed to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, to ensure our supply chains are fully prepared to support continued economic growth, and to mitigate potential disruptions in the future.”

Access the full letter here.


About American Apparel & Footwear Association
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market. Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, AAFA is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its three million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $350 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA drives progress on three key priorities: Brand Protection; Supply Chain & Sourcing; Trade, Logistics, & Manufacturing. AAFA approaches this work through the lens of purpose-driven leadership in a manner that supports each member’s ability to build and sustain inclusive and diverse cultures, meet and advance ESG goals, and draw upon the latest technology.
About Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.

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.

About the Travel Goods Association
The Travel Goods Association (TGA) is the national organization that represents the manufacturers and retailers of travel products. Comprising a $31.2 billion-a-year industry, travel goods include luggage, casual bags, computer cases, backpacks, handbags and travel accessories – those items consumers use every day while traveling to work, across campus or around the world. TGA is the organizer and sponsor of The Travel Goods Show, the largest annual exhibition of travel products in the world.

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