NRF Wants Obama's Help in Resolving Port Labor DisputeDecember 3, 2012
The National Retail Federation wants President Obama's help in stalled contract negotiations between management and striking union workers at West Coast ports.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit has established pickets outside a majority of terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“A prolonged strike at the nation’s largest ports would have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy,” read a letter last week from NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay to Obama. “We call upon you to use all means necessary to get the two sides back to the negotiating table.”
In its appeal to the president that the administration directly engage in the ongoing labor dispute, NRF noted the outcome of the 2002 West Coast ports lockout. The 10-day lockout led to significant supply chain disruptions, which took six months to remedy, and cost the economy an estimated $1 billion a day.
“An extended strike [in Los Angeles and Long Beach] this time could have a greater impact considering the fragile state of the U.S. economy,” the letter stated. “The two sides must remain at the negotiating table until a deal is reached.”