SHIPPERS URGED NOT TO PANIC IN FACE OF POSSIBLE ILWU STRIKE
The West Coast Waterfront Coalition has asked shippers and industry groups around the country not to panic in the face of a possible International Longshore and Warehouse Union strike in early July.
The ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, a negotiator and administrator of the maritime labor contracts on the West Coast, are not expected to reach the July 1 expiration of the union’s contract. Labor slowdowns could start in the West Coast ports after the deadline is passed.
Robin Lanier, director of the West Coast Waterfront Coalition, urged shippers to contact their elected officials and make the possibility of port strike “a very public issue.”
“I think shippers are willing to take more pain than they did before,” Lanier said at a press briefing at the Agriculture Ocean Transportation Coalition meeting in San Francisco June 7.
The West Coast Waterfront Coalition would like the Pacific Maritime Association to secure the introduction of information technology and modern workplace practices, in addition to extended gate hours to ease congestion in West Coast container terminals, in its new contract with the ILWU.
With limited terminal capacity and increasing container volumes in the future, Lanier said the ILWU needs to work with the industry to modernize the waterfront and improve supply chain management in the United States.