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238 Commerce Associations Write Biden to Mediate ILWU Negotiations (Learn Full Letter)

A bunch of 238 state, native, and federal commerce associations despatched a letter to President Biden, imploring him and his administration to mediate the Worldwide Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) contract negotiations to assist the events attain a brand new settlement shortly and stop cargo fluidity disruption on the ports.

The Senior Director of Media Relations for the Nationwide Retail Federation, Danielle Inman, despatched me an e mail yesterday with a hyperlink to the letter the commerce associations despatched.

The urgency of the scenario was simply punctuated by disruption on the Ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside, the place ILWU Native 13 members refused to stagger their lunch breaks, inflicting terminal delays and truck backups from these terminals, based on the Pacific Maritime Affiliation (PMA), representing the employers on the West Coast ports.

Labor motion, disrupting port operations, has grow to be a daily prevalence at West Coast ports throughout ILWU contract negotiations. And it’s a really expensive prevalence for shippers and the U.S. financial system usually. When the 2014-15 contract negotiations turned contentious and induced agricultural exports to rot on the docks and saved import items from reaching cabinets in time for the vacation procuring season, it value the financial system billions of {dollars}. Many U.S. exporters completely misplaced worldwide commerce companions.

As talked about in earlier posts, the disruptions throughout these present contract negotiations have been mitigated by decreased cargo at West Coast ports due to financial downturn and shippers diverting cargo from the West Coast to East and Gulf Coast ports when potential. Nonetheless, if a brand new contract isn’t reached as cargo volumes see enhance, significantly through the upcoming peak season, it may simply flip very expensive for shippers and the financial system.

Of their letter, the commerce associations level out that it has been over 8 months because the ILWU grasp contract expired and over 10 months since negotiations started. All of the whereas, there was “little to no progress in the direction of a brand new long-term settlement.”

Diplomatically within the letter, the commerce associations “applaud the engagement from former Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh by way of the negotiations” regardless of the shortage of progress that has been made within the talks. The associations present concern that there isn’t any longer some extent particular person from the White Home for the negotiations since Walsh departed the administration:

… it’s essential {that a} new administration level particular person be named to proceed engagement with the events as they negotiate. With the shortage of progress to this point, we might additionally encourage the administration to supply mediation providers to the events of their negotiations.

In the end, the commerce associations’ message is that the PMA and ILWU should stay on the negotiating desk till a brand new contract is reached. They ask for management from the president of the US to make sure that occurs. By means of the course of those negotiations, there was an excessive amount of time the place talks have been utterly stalled out and suspended. The chance and uncertainty this presents to produce chain stakeholders, who’re already coping with an excessive amount of financial uncertainty and big inflation, is extremely excessive.

Beneath is the complete textual content of the letter to President Biden, together with all of the names of the associations that signed it.

Full Textual content of Letter

March 24, 2023

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
The White Home
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Pricey President Biden,

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, and the tens of millions of companies and staff we symbolize, we’re writing to you as soon as once more relating to the continued West Coast port labor negotiations between the Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Affiliation. The labor contract has now been expired for over eight months. Negotiations have been ongoing for over ten months, with little to no progress in the direction of a brand new long-term settlement. It’s crucial that the administration work with the events to shortly attain a brand new settlement and guarantee there isn’t any disruption to port operations and cargo fluidity.

We beforehand shared our considerations on July 1, 2022 when the contract initially expired. At the moment we referred to as upon the administration to interact with the events in addition to urged the events to conform to a contract extension whereas negotiations continued. We applaud the engagement from former Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh by way of the negotiations. Now that he has departed the administration it’s essential {that a} new administration level particular person be named to proceed engagement with the events as they negotiate. With the shortage of progress to this point, we might additionally encourage the administration to supply mediation providers to the events of their negotiations.

As we’ve got witnessed, vital cargo flows have shifted away from the West Coast ports due to the uncertainty associated to the labor negotiations. Whereas there actually are different points impacting the West Coast ports, many cargo pursuits have expressly acknowledged that they shifted cargo on account of the negotiations. That cargo is not going to return to the West Coast till after a contract is last and authorized by each events. The longer there isn’t any ratified contract solely will increase the likelihood that some portion of the freight won’t ever return to the West Coast ports.

Companies have already made their delivery choices for the all-important peak delivery season, which is able to start this summer time. Although cargo volumes have dropped, we proceed to expertise provide chain stress and challenges. Whereas many proceed to get better from pandemic associated points, the continued stress of inflation and financial uncertainty continues to impression provide chain stakeholders as nicely.

The dearth of a labor contract provides to this uncertainty. Whereas we respect that the events agreed to not interact in a strike or a lockout, we’re conscious of a number of cases of actions which have impacted terminal operations. We want the administration to make sure these actions don’t proceed or escalate.

We all know that vital points stay for each events to resolve. Nonetheless, the one option to resolve these points is for the events to stay on the bargaining desk and really negotiate. We encourage the administration to offer any and all assist to the events of their negotiations to achieve a last settlement.

As we’ve got mentioned beforehand, the one manner the events can attain an settlement that can make sure the continued competitiveness of the ports and the availability chain stakeholders who depend upon them is to stay on the desk till a brand new settlement is finalized. Thanks to your management on this necessary subject.


Agribusiness Council of Indiana
Agricultural Retailers Affiliation
Agriculture Transportation Coalition – AgTC
Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration
Airforwarders Affiliation
Alliance for Automotive Innovation
Almond Alliance
American Attire & Footwear Affiliation
American Affiliation of Exporters and
American Bakers Affiliation
American Chemistry Council
American Clear Energy Affiliation
American Composites Producers
American Cotton Shippers Affiliation
American Down and Feather Council
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Trade Affiliation
American Forest & Paper Affiliation
American Foundry Society
American Natural Merchandise Affiliation
American Dwelling Furnishings Alliance
American Worldwide Vehicle Sellers
American Lighting Affiliation
American Pyrotechnics Affiliation
American Seed Commerce Affiliation
American Spice Commerce Affiliation
American Trucking Associations
Arizona Retailers Affiliation
Arizona Trucking Affiliation
Related Builders and Contractors
Related Gear Distributors
Related Common Contractors of America
Affiliation of American Railroads
Affiliation of Meals Industries
Affiliation of Dwelling Equipment Producers
Auto Care Affiliation
Autos Drive America
Bay Space Council
Beer Institute
California Alfalfa and Forage Affiliation
California Affiliation of Wheat Growers
California Bean Shippers Affiliation
California Constructing Trade Affiliation
California Enterprise Properties Affiliation
California Chamber of Commerce
California Citrus Mutual
California Cotton Ginners and Growers Affiliation
California Grain and Feed Affiliation
California Lodge + Lodging Affiliation
California Retailers Affiliation
California Rice Fee
California Seed Affiliation
California State Floral Affiliation
California Trucking Affiliation
California Warehouse Affiliation
Can Producers Institute
Cascade Shippers Affiliation
CAWA – Representing the Automotive Components Trade
Coalition of New England Firms for Commerce
Colorado Motor Carriers Affiliation
Columbia River Customs Brokers & Forwarders Affiliation
Computing Know-how Trade Affiliation (CompTIA)
Client Manufacturers Affiliation
Client Know-how Affiliation
Corn Refiners Affiliation
Cotton Growers Warehouse Affiliation
Council for Accountable Vitamin
Council of Vogue Designers of America (CFDA)
Council of Provide Chain Administration Professionals
Customs Brokers & Forwarders Affiliation of Northern California
Customs Brokers & Worldwide Freight
Forwarders Affiliation of Washington State
Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.
Vogue Equipment Shippers Affiliation, Inc.
Vogue Jewellery & Equipment Commerce Affiliation
Florida Trucking Affiliation
FMI – The Meals Trade Affiliation
Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America (FDRA)
International Commerce Affiliation
Forest Sources Affiliation
Contemporary Produce Affiliation of the Americas
Gemini Shippers Affiliation
Georgia Motor Trucking Affiliation
Glass Packaging Institute
World Chilly Chain Alliance
Grain and Feed Affiliation of Illinois
Greenabl Shippers Affiliation
Halloween & Costume Affiliation
Harbor Trucking Affiliation
Hawaii Transportation Affiliation
Dwelling Vogue Merchandise Affiliation
Family & Industrial Merchandise Affiliation
Idaho Retailers Affiliation
Illinois Retail Retailers Affiliation
Impartial Electrical Contractors
Indiana Motor Truck Affiliation
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.
Intermodal Motor Carriers Convention
Worldwide Informal Furnishings Affiliation
Worldwide Dairy Meals Affiliation
Worldwide Foodservice Distributors Affiliation
Worldwide Franchise Affiliation
Worldwide Contemporary Produce Affiliation
Worldwide Housewares Affiliation
Worldwide Warehouse Logistics Affiliation
Iowa Motor Truck Affiliation
ISSA, The Worldwide Cleansing Trade Affiliation
Juvenile Merchandise Producers Affiliation
Kansas Chamber
Kansas Motor Carriers Affiliation
Kansas Retail Council
Kentucky Retail Federation
Littler Office Coverage Institute
Los Angeles Space Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles County Enterprise Federation
Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Affiliation
Louisiana Retailers Affiliation
Maryland Retailers Affiliation
MEMA, The Car Suppliers Affiliation
Michigan Retailers Affiliation
Minnesota Grain and Feed Affiliation
Minnesota Retailers Affiliation
Minnesota Soybean Growers Affiliation
Mississippi Trucking Affiliation
Missouri Retailers Affiliation
Montana Retail Affiliation
Bike Trade Council
NAIOP Inland Empire Chapter
NAIOP of California
Nationwide Affiliation of Beverage Importers
Nationwide Affiliation of Chemical Distributors
Nationwide Affiliation of Producers
Nationwide Affiliation of Wholesaler-Distributors
Nationwide Confectioners Affiliation
Nationwide Corn Growers Affiliation
Nationwide Cotton Council
Nationwide Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Nationwide Customs Brokers and Forwarders Affiliation of America
Nationwide Electrical Producers Affiliation
Nationwide Federation of Impartial Enterprise
Nationwide Fisheries Institute
Nationwide Hay Affiliation
Nationwide Industrial Transportation League
Nationwide Lumber & Constructing Materials Sellers Affiliation
Nationwide Milk Producers Federation
Nationwide Pork Producers Council
Nationwide Potato Council
Nationwide Restaurant Affiliation
Nationwide Retail Federation
Nationwide Sorghum Producers
Nationwide Sporting Items Affiliation
Nationwide Picket Pallet & Container Affiliation
Pure Merchandise Affiliation
Nebraska Retail Federation
Nebraska Trucking Affiliation
New Hampshire Motor Truck Affiliation
New Jersey Retail Retailers Affiliation
New Mexico trucking Affiliation
New York New Jersey International Freight
Forwarders and Brokers Affiliation Inc.
North American Affiliation of Meals Gear Producers (NAFEM)
North American Dwelling Furnishings Affiliation
North American Meat Institute
North American Renderers Affiliation
North Carolina Retail Retailers Affiliation
North Dakota Grain Growers Affiliation
Northwest Horticultural Council
Ohio Council of Retail Retailers
Orange County Enterprise Council
Oregon Retail Council
Oregon Trucking Affiliation
Out of doors Trade Affiliation
Out of doors Energy Gear Institute
Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and
Freight Forwarders Assns. – PCC
Pacific Coast Renderers Affiliation
Pacific Seed Affiliation
Pennsylvania Retailers AssociationPlant
California Alliance
Plumbing Producers Worldwide
Portland Cement Affiliation
PRINTING United Alliance
Promotional Merchandise Affiliation Worldwide (PPAI)
Railway Provide Institute
Leisure Off-Freeway Car Affiliation (ROHVA)
Renewable Fuels Affiliation
Retail Affiliation of Nevada
Retail Council of New York State
Retail Trade Leaders Affiliation
Retail Retailers of Hawaii
Retailers Affiliation of Massachusetts
Rhode Island Trucking Affiliation, Inc.
RV Trade Affiliation
San Diego Customs Brokers Affiliation
San Gabriel Valley Financial Partnership
SNAC Worldwide
Snowsports Trade America
Society of Chemical Producers & Associates (SOCMA)
South Dakota Affiliation of Cooperatives
South Dakota Soybean Affiliation
Southern California Management Council
Specialty Crop Commerce Council
Specialty Gear Market Affiliation
Specialty Soya & Grains Alliance
Specialty Car Institute of America (SVIA)
Sports activities & Health Trade Affiliation (SFIA)
Tag and Label Producers Institute
Tea Affiliation of the united statesA., Inc.
The Fertilizer Institute
The Sport Producers Affiliation
The Hardwood Federation
The Nevada Trucking Affiliation
The Sulphur Institute
The Toy Affiliation
Transportation Intermediaries Affiliation (TIA)
Journey Items Affiliation (TGA)
U.S. Apple Affiliation
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Dairy Export Council
U.S. Vogue Trade Affiliation
U.S. Forage Export Council
U.S. Meat Export Federation
United States Council for Worldwide Enterprise
USA Rice
Utah Retail Retailers Affiliation
Vermont Truck & Bus Affiliation
Virginia Retail Federation
Washington Retail Affiliation
Washington State Potato Fee
Washington State Tree Fruit Affiliation
Washington Trucking Associations
West Virginia Retailers Affiliation
Western Agricultural Processors Affiliation
Western Growers
Window & Door Producers Affiliation
Wine and Spirits Shippers Affiliation, Inc.
Wisconsin Agri-Enterprise Affiliation

CC: The Honorable Pete Buttigieg, Secretary, Division of Transportation
The Honorable Julie Su, Performing Secretary, Division of Labor
The Honorable Gina Raimondo, Secretary, Division of Commerce
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary, Division of Agriculture
The Honorable Lael Brainard, Director, Nationwide Financial Council
Common Stephen Lyons, Provide Chain and Ports Envoy
Mr. Willie Adams, President, Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union
Mr. James McKenna, Chairman and CEO, Pacific Retailers Affiliation

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