Union-led work slowdowns could halt the 29 U.S. West Coast ports, including the Port of Portland, in five to 10 days, the head of the shippers’ association said, urging the union to accept a new offer that includes 3 percent raises.
James McKenna, the president of the Pacific Maritime Association, said backups and delays at many of the ports are harming farmers, manufacturers and consumers as the flow of goods approaches a “coast-wide meltdown.”
He called on the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to accept management’s second formal contract proposal since negotiations began last May.
“We’re not considering a lockout,” McKenna said on a conference call with reporters, his first public comments since the talks began. “What I’m really saying is that this system will bring it to a stop. Once that happens, we really don’t have a choice.”
The association of shipping lines, terminal operators and stevedores made public details of its contract offer, including 3 percent annual raises over five years, retaining employer-paid health care, and raising pensions by 11 percent.
>> Click here to access the entire article.