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The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) have agreed to extend their contract negotiations for an additional 30 days, averting a potential labor strike at 14 East and Gulf Coast ports, which together account for 95 percent of all containerized shipments to the Eastern seaboard.
“Throughout the process, NRF has stressed the vital economic importance of keeping the ports open to international trade and commerce,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation (NRF). “Our ports and the cargo and containers that flow through them are truly our economic lifelines to the world.”
Shay noted that although the contract extension is certainly positive news for the entire retail industry, the NRF urges “both parties to remain at the negotiating table until a long-term contract agreement is finalized.”
“Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the recent eight-day port strike in Los Angeles and Long Beach, this extension is a welcomed sign to the entire supply chain community – from manufacturers to retailers – that the two sides understand the risks of a shutdown and are listening to the concerns of the shipping community,” Shay said.
The National Retail Federation represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad.