One hundred organizations representing national and state retailer associations, customs brokers and other intermediaries, agricultural shippers, manufacturers, logistics providers and various import and export associations urged the Obama administration to help end the week-long strike by office clerical workers that is crippling the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“We urge the administration to quickly engage in the dispute to end the work stoppage at the ports and help the parties in their negotiations,” the coalition of trade groups stated Tuesday in a letter to the White House.
The Office Clerical Unit of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 posted pickets last week at 10 container terminals. The ILWU dockworkers refused to cross the picket lines, thereby shutting down cargo-handling at the facilities.
If the strike at 10 of the 14 container terminals is allowed to continue, manufacturers requiring parts for their production lines may have to suspend operations, exporters will fail to meet delivery deadlines, retailers will be unable to get merchandise to their store shelves in a timely fashion and further orders could be canceled, the groups stated.
The coalition acknowledged the difficulties inherent in government intervention in labor disputes, but the organizations said they are concerned about the mounting economic harm that has already resulted, and the severe harm that will result if the strike continues.
“We urge you to take immediate action and use whatever means necessary, including Taft-Hartley, to get labor back to work in the nation’s largest ports,” the coalition stated in its letter to the president.