April ’23 at-a-glance … supply chain

Work disruptions intensify at west coast ports

Changing its approach to not comment publicly while negotiations are underway, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) representing the companies that operate U.S. west coast ports, issued statements providing updates on the situation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are now in their 11th month.

According to PMA’s latest statement, Long Beach port employees are no longer staggering their meal breaks so cargo can continue to be received and delivered without interruption. Additionally, ILWU withheld labor and forced cargo handling equipment to be taken out of operations, all of which are adding to the backlog.

Christine Sohar-Henter, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg reports that while the negotiators are making progress on benefits and health care, sticking points continue to be wages and the use of automation.

NAFEM joins associations in calling for west coast port agreement

NAFEM joined 238 national, state and local trade associations in calling on the Biden Administration to work toward a new agreement. “The only way to resolve these issues is for the parties to remain at the bargaining table and actually negotiate….We applaud the engagement from former Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. Now that he has departed the administration, it is critical that a new point person be named to continue engagement with the parties as they negotiate. With the lack of progress to date, we encourage the administration to offer mediation services to the parties.”