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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has issued a statement from VP for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold in response to this week’s rejection of a labor contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Local 63 Office Clerical Unit and the Harbor Employers Association. An eight-day strike in November and December 2012 shut down most terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach before the parties agreed on a tentative new contract with the help of a federal mediator. But union members on Wednesday voted down the contract.
“We are extremely disappointed by this vote and strongly urge the parties to work through their differences without any kind of disruption,” Gold said. “Ratification of a contract is needed to give retailers and other industries that rely on these ports the predictability they need to make long-term plans and get back to growing their businesses and creating jobs.”
Gold added that the shutdown not only affected labor and management, but also consumers’ shopping plans during the all-important holiday shopping season. “We can’t afford to see another shutdown. As labor and management work to resolve this situation, uninterrupted operation of the ports should be their top priority,” he added. “Too many jobs across the country depend on these ports to let any interference with operations be considered an acceptable way of doing business.”
NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad.