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Supply chain stakeholders urge port contract before February 6 deadline
A diverse coalition of over 120 local, state and national stakeholders, ranging from farmers and manufacturers to retailers and wholesalers – representing the totality of the global supply chain – sent a letter to the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. (USMX) urging both sides to remain at the negotiating table until they “reach a new long-term contract.”As you may recall, on December 28, 2012 – the day before a planned coast-wide port strike – the ILA and USMX agreed to extend their contract negotiations until Wednesday, February 6, 2013. The two sides are scheduled to meet again next week to continue negotiations on the coast-wide contract. Unfortunately though, the ILA recently walked away from local talks impacting the Port of New York and New Jersey. It is not known what impact that local action will have on next week’s negotiations.
The labor contract being negotiated covers container port operations at 14 East and Gulf Coast ports – stretching from Maine to Texas – including Boston; New York and New Jersey; Delaware River (Philadelphia); Baltimore; Hampton Roads, Va. (Norfolk); Wilmington, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Port Everglades/Miami, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Mobile, Ala.; New Orleans and Houston.
The National Retail Federation – the world’s largest retail trade association – organized the letter, which was also signed by the American Apparel & Footwear Association, American Meat Institute, International Wood Products Association, National Association of Manufacturers, Waterfront Coalition, U.S Chamber of Commerce and others.
In the letter, the coalition stressed the need for the two sides to reach a long-term contract agreement without causing disruptions to the nation’s supply chain.
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