The call comes as the dispute enters a second week and close on the heels of a call by Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for strikers and management to talk “around-the-clock” to settle the issue.
Striking clerical workers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit have been picketing many of the port terminals, effectively shutting down the ports. Their concerns, primarily of staffing levels, follow the management move for more flexibility in the number of temporary and/or full-time office workers hired.
“The on-going labour situation affects a multitude of industries and businesses, including retail,” said NRF President and CEO, Matthew Shay. “From farmers to factory workers, the disruption is causing significant harm to the economy and needs to be resolved now. We once again urge the Administration to engage on this national economic emergency.”
Shay continued by saying that the retail community needed leadership from policymakers in Washington, adding “we can’t sit by idly as shipment after shipment remains unloaded”. He warned that if the dispute was not resolved soon, shelves in stores could soon see shortages, with the possibility of production lines shutting down as imports and exports continue to be disrupted.
Retailers operate more than 3.6 million US establishments that support one in four US jobs, contributing US$2.5 trillion to annual GDP.
Ships and containers destined for Southern California are being diverted to other ports on the West Coast and Mexico. \”Cargo continues to back up and concern is mounting throughout the worldwide logistics chain. We need resolution to prevent further economic damage,\” said Phillip Sanfield for the Port of Los Angeles.
The two-port complex is the busiest shipping hub in the United States, with Los Angeles ranked as the country’s top container port, with Long Beach ranked second.
(Source: Business Wire)