Time is Now for a Deal to Restore W. Coast Ports Operations

With the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) yet to reach a contract agreement, and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su now involved, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement.

“Retailers are encouraged to see Acting Labor Secretary Su is now in California directly engaged with negotiating parties at our nation’s West Coast ports. As we approach a year without a labor contract in place, the time is now to get a deal over the finish line and keep this crucial gateway open for business.

“Retailers have successfully navigated myriad supply chain obstacles over the last several years to deliver for consumers, but current disruptions are already leading to ships waiting offshore and unloaded containers piling up. Further strain on supply chains will put extreme pressure on the economy and inflation. The stakes couldn’t be higher; peak shipping season is just around the corner, which includes back-to-school and holiday items. Uncertainty in retail supply chains at this juncture is unacceptable.

“We’re hopeful with the Biden administration’s engagement, all parties can reach an agreement in short order, before cascading economic dominos begin to fall. Without an agreement, the bottlenecks and disruption that drove inflationary pressures coming out of the pandemic will worsen, creating shortages and driving up prices across the country. 

“We urge Acting Labor Secretary Su to stay engaged until a resolution is reached that ensures the uninterrupted flow of goods and restores confidence in the West Coast ports as a reliable gateway for global commerce.”

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.

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