Industry Fingers Crossed

By: Bill Mongelluzzo | June 11, 2014

Cargo interests, shipping lines and railroads have done all they can to prepare for the July 1 expiration of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union contract. The trade community is now looking to the negotiations in San Francisco to see if an agreement will be reached without disruptions at West Coast ports.

Key Points:

–          Since May 12 when talks began, nothing has happened to cause concern

–          Container volumes through LA-Long Beach Ports are up 10%

–          Train speeds and efficiency are up since the long brutal winter and equipment is ready to handle larger amounts of freight

Should we expect an agreement on July 1 ?

–          NO.  McKenna warned the trade community not to expect an agreement by July 1.

–          However, if negotiators believe they are close to reaching an agreement, they could extend the no-strike clause for a week or two.

What are they negotiating?

–          The Cadillac tax provision in the Affordable health care Act

–          Preserving ILWU jurisdiction as technology and automation eliminate some jobs, while creating new jobs at the waterfont

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