Newhouse, Reichert, Schrader Urge Contract Extension Progress as West Coast Ports Parties Meet
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the eve of a meeting between Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Reps. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) led a letter urging both parties to continue discussing an extension of their current contract covering operations at the 29 West Coast container ports. Although the current contract does not expire until 2019, the last time the contract expired in 2014 there was no resolution until 2015. The result was a prolonged dispute that led to backups at ports along the West Coast and an estimated $7 billion of impacts to the U.S. economy.
“During the 2014-2015 disruption at the 29 West Coast ports, our growers were forced to dump spoiled produce, our manufacturers were delayed waiting for necessary parts, and our retailers were faced with empty shelves. The impact was not simply limited to the West Coast, but was ultimately felt by communities across the country and the larger economy,” wrote the representatives. “We urge you to come to a resolution, so that we can all avoid this same outcome and the repeat of these devastating stories.”
The full text of the letter can be found, HERE.