Brushing aside calls for federal mediation in prolonged contact talks with employers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports, the union for 20,000 dockworkers urged shipping executives on management’s board of directors to take a more active part in negotiations.
News / Global Logistics
Brutal congestion at the nation’s busiest ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach is throwing a kink into an economy that’s finally kicking into high gear.
As with any negotiation, a measure of compromise must be made by both bargaining members. By now, it has become clear that only one side is willing give a little in the protracted struggle between U.S. West Coast port management and dockside labor.
The members lines of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement recommended raising Asia-U.S. freight rates by at least $600 per-FEU starting Jan. 15 — a 26.6 percent increase over the current level.
A group of 166 trade associations is calling on President Obama to intervene in a labor fight that is threatening the flow of packages at ports along the West Coast.
The current contract between the union that represents West Coast port workers, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), was supposed to expire in July, but negotiators have thus far been unable to agree to more than temporary extensions.
The Temporary Empty Container Depot on Pier S at the Port of Long Beach is scheduled to open Dec. 29. The depot was approved by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in November to free up truck-trailer chassis and ease congestion on the docks at the second busiest seaport in North America.
The “good news story” of the season appears to be generated by officials at The Port of Oakland, who report that it has taken additional steps in an ongoing effort to manage a surge of inbound container vessel calls.
Harbor leaders will consider Monday three measures that could help give relief to truck drivers, shippers and other supply chain stakeholders feeling the pinch from bottlenecks at the Port of Long Beach.
The announced levels from the carriers are listed below.
The union for 20,000 dockworkers and a group of their employers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports say they are making slow but steady progress in months-long contract talks seen by the shipping industry as a contributing factor in chronic cargo backups.