Shipping News Alert: Prepare for a Lockout!

 In ILWU Negotiations, PMA, shipping news

Shipping News Alert West Coast Ports LockoutGet ready. It looks like the West Coast ports are about to shut down.

The Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association (LACBFFA) forwarded the following words of warning from “Our Man in DC” Peter Friedmann:

I have refrained from spreading all the rumors, but this one has firm basis and warrants preparation: it appears that there will be a gradual lockout this week, expanding over the weekend, and fully implemented next week. It is possible the ILWU will take some action to be the “first” to act, but the result will be the same – shut-down of the west coast.

On the positive side, the elected representatives are engaged. A letter from Congress to the parties, and here, legislation from Washington State:

http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2015-16/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Joint%20Memorials/8009-State%20ports%27%20competitiveness.pdf

So shortly after receiving good news on the negotiation front of a tentative agreement over chassis jurisdiction, we have the very bad news of West Coast ports likely being shut down by next week.

Elected representatives are asking President Obama to step in. The questions are whether or not the president actually will step in and how much more are these contract negotiations between the ILWU and PMA going to cost shippers, retailers, and the economy.

*UPDATE ON 2/4/15*

The Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association (LACBFFA) forwarded the following words of warning from “Our Man in DC” Peter Friedmann:

At 2 PM Pacific today (2/4), the Pacific Maritime Assoc. conducted a press conference on the status of the negotiation. PMA did not announce a lock-out, and did not announce a settlement.

PMA described what it has offered (which we presume the ILWU has thus far rejected) and the data on the impacts of the slow-down, which may include these charts:

Click here to see the PMA Data on Port Operations.

There continues to be talk of terminals not ordering labor (thus shutting) over weekends, or otherwise, but nothing confirmed.

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