Both the Loadstar and the Journal of Commerce (JOC) report the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) have broken media silence on their negotiations with a joint statement to reassure shippers that both parties are committed to negotiating a new contract without port disruption. One would certainly hope so.
“Cargo operations continue beyond the expiration of the contract. Neither party is preparing for a strike or a lockout, contrary to speculation in news reports. The parties remain focused on and committed to reaching an agreement,” the PMA and ILWU reportedly said.
I say reportedly because the statement does not appear on the PMA’s nor the ILWU’s website. Saying that neither party is preparing for a strike or a lockout is not the same as the parties committing not to execute a strike or lockout. The history of labor slowdowns, port disruption, strikes, and lockouts during contract negotiations along with the contract expiration meaning there’s not an active agreement clause against strikes and slowdowns in place gives shippers and industry professionals plenty of reason to be worried.
Additionally, all the congestion, port disruption, and record-breakingly (yeah, I might have just made up that adverb) high freight rates over the last two years would make disruptions from contentious contract negotiations all the more devastating.
Find out more by reading the full post in Universal Cargo’s blog.
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