Retailers say they welcome the agreement by the International Longshormen’s Associaiton and United States Maritime Alliance to extend negotiations for 90 days past the ILA-USMX contract’s Sept. 30 expiration.
“This is a significant step forward, and signals that both sides — labor and management — are serious about reaching a deal,” said Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation. “This extension should provide for a stable holiday shipping and shopping season over the next few months.”
Retailers and other shippers have incurred extra costs for rerouting cargo or booking shipments early to avoid disruptions at the height of the annual peak season for holiday imports.
“Until a final contract is ratified, America’s retail community will remain concerned,” Gold said. “NRF continues to urge both sides to negotiate in good faith to reach a firm and final deal for the good of the supply chain, and the good of the U.S. economy.”
The NRF, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Waterfront Coalition and organizations representing apparel and toy importers are among shipper groups that have urged the ILA and USMX to avert a port shutdown.