• ITVI.USA
    15,379.620
    -113.610
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.786
    -0.021
    -0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.500
    -0.060
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,349.750
    -127.770
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,379.620
    -113.610
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.786
    -0.021
    -0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.500
    -0.060
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,349.750
    -127.770
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American ShipperShippingWarehouse

ILWU will take additional time before responding to call for federal mediator

Business groups tell Obama that the use of a mediator is imperative in longshore union talks.

   The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said it will take more time before responding to a call by its members’ employers for a federal mediator to get involved in contract negotiations.
   The Pacific Maritime Association made that call during contract talks with the union on Monday.
   The union said Monday that it planned to respond to the PMA’s call for a mediator Tuesday. But Craig Merrilees, a spokesman for the ILWU, said the union had changed its plans and would make no statement Tuesday. The delay comes because it is taking more time to study the call for a mediator and other proposals that the PMA had made in contract talks yesterday.
   Meanwhile, shippers have rallied behind the PMA request and are asking for President Barack Obama in getting a mediator involved in the talks.
   More than 165 business groups — including the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and Agriculture Transportation Coalition — sent a letter to Obama Tuesday morning asking for his help.
   “Our organizations continue to believe that both parties can reach an agreement that will ensure the continued success and competitiveness of these ports for the foreseeable future. However, after seven months of negotiations with little progress, we believe federal mediation is needed to help them reach a conclusion,” they wrote.
   “With an official request from the PMA for a mediator, we urge the administration to work with both parties to appoint a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in order to help them conclude their negotiations as quickly as possible,” the groups continued.
   The FMCS will get involved only if both sides agree to ask for help, and the business groups told Obama that “it is imperative that the ILWU agree to the use of a mediator.”
   They added, “We continue to see significant congestion at the ports, which is impacting both imports and exports. While there are many reasons for the congestion beyond labor slowdowns, industry cannot begin to develop solutions until a new contract is finally resolved. We are extremely concerned the negotiations will now slip into 2015 and continue to cause problems for all industries that rely on the ports.”
   The groups said that the negative impacts of the lengthy discussions have already been made apparent.
   “The longer these negotiations continue, the greater the negative impact this will have on jobs, down-stream consumers, and the business operations of exporters, importers, retailers, transportation providers, manufacturers and other stakeholders,” they wrote.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.

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