Multiple trade organizations have been pushing the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association to conclude their negotiations for an agreed contract.  As mentioned in “Reach a Deal Already,” the organizations involved in this letter include manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, and transportation and logistics providers. 

The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders of American Association also joined trade organizations in a letter to the ILWU and PMA.  Click here, to see a copy of this letter.


A Copy is also below:

Dear Mr. McEllrath and Mr. McKenna:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations representing manufacturers, farmers and
agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, and transportation and
logistics providers we again call upon the ILWU and PMA to quickly conclude a new labor
agreement. Many U.S. and Canadian stakeholders we represent are already experiencing severe
negative effects of delayed shipments. Unless addressed by the two negotiating parties, this
situation will soon start to have a broader negative impact on the U.S. and broader North
American economies.

We fully respect the collective bargaining process and understand the importance of the
remaining issues for both management and labor. However, our collective members are
concerned that there has been no visible progress in the negotiations since August, when the
ILWU and PMA announced a “tentative deal” on health benefits. As we noted in our letters of
May 9thand July 9th, the financial and economic situation for thousands of importers and
exporters who rely on the West Coast ports, and their millions of employees and business
partners, rest on the timely conclusion of a new port labor contract.

We understand the need for the media blackout during the negotiations, and we
appreciate the parties remaining at the table throughout the process. However, we are now at a
point where a new contract must be finalized soon in order to allay growing concerns of
thousands of businesses who rely on West Coast ports for orderly and timely supply chain
operations. The congestion problems at key West Coast ports in both the U.S. and Canada are
getting worse each day, and the absence of a new signed contract between the ILWU and PMA is
a significant contributing factor. Many of the stakeholders that we represent are already
experiencing significant adverse effects of delays in moving their cargo. Again, this will soon
start to have a negative impact on the overall economy.

We ask that both parties recognize that time is of the essence. We encourage you to stay
the course, complete the contract negotiations as soon as possible and work to resolve the current
congestion issues without further interrupting the flow of commerce. We believe that a new
agreement can be reached that will be fair to both parties and ensure the continued success and
competitiveness of West Coast ports, your organizations and the stakeholders who rely on the
timely and efficient movement of goods through the ports.

1. American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
2. American Cotton Shippers Association
3. American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA)
4. American Import Shippers Association5. American Meat Institute
6. American Trucking Associations
7. Auto Care Association
8. California Retailers Association
9. California Trucking Association
10. CAWA – Representing the Automotive Parts Industry
11. Fashion Accessories Shippers Association (FASA)
12. Gamma Industry Processing Alliance (GIPA)
13. International Irradiation Association
14. Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference (IMCC)
15. International Source Suppliers and Producers Association (ISSA)
16. Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
17. Meat Importers Council of America
18. National Association of Chemical Distributors
19. National Cotton Council
20. National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America
21. National Grain and Feed Association
22. National Industrial Transportation League
23. National Retail Federation
24. North American Meat Association
25. North American Shippers Association, Inc.
26. Retail Industry Leaders Association
27. San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
28. Specialized Furniture Carriers
29. Sports & Fitness Industry Association
30. The Hardwood Federation
31. The Waterfront Coalition
32. Transportation Intermediaries Association
33. Toy Industry Association
34. Travel Goods Association (TGA)
35. Washington Council on International Trade
CC: The Honorable Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles
The Honorable Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach
Mr. Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles