U.S. West Coast Labor Negotiations Should Not Contain Any Surprises

By Patrick Burnson · April 22, 2014

Last year at this time, retailers were relieved to learn that a tentative agreement on a new labor contract had been reached by dockside labor and management on the U.S. East and Gulf coasts. But not without considerable blood on the floor.

Months of difficult negotiations preceded that deal, leaving our nation’s retailers scrambling for supply chain alternatives.

By the time the United States Maritime Alliance – comprising container carriers, direct employers, and port associations – came to terms with the International Longshoremen’s Association, shippers were still recovering from the disruption the stalled talks caused.

Despite the well reasoned request from the National Retail Federation and other shipper coalitions to get new contracts signed early this summer,  labor experts and analysts are telling us that the “real” negotiations between International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association will not commence until the June 30th deadline has passed.


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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