Nation’s shippers need peace on the waterfront

The National Retail Federation is right to demand that seaport labor negotiations proceed without delay, and without impacting commerce moving through the ports.

By Patrick Burnson · July 16, 2012

The National Retail Federation is right to demand that seaport labor negotiations proceed without delay, and without impacting commerce moving through the ports.

As noted in our news section, the NRF is asking that both labor and management issue a statement committing to continue negotiating and working without interruption, even if negotiations extend beyond the September 30th contract expiration.

The nation’s retailers believe that the two sides should continue working in good faith to reach an agreement even after the current contract expires at the end of September. Differences should be worked out at the negotiating table, not the picket line.

A 2002 lockout at the West Coast ports during contract negotiations adversely affected the global supply chain and upended U.S.-based manufacturing, retailing and agricultural commerce for months. Some estimate that the 10-day stoppage cost the economy several billion dollars a day.

The NRF demand is uncompromising…as it should be:

“We urge you to quickly agree on a framework for a new contract and commit yourselves to having a contract ratified well before the current contract’s September 30 expiration date,” said spokesmen. “These negotiations are important to all of the import and export industries who rely on these ports to move the nation’s commerce.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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