White House officials said last week they are confident that management and labor could resolve their differences through the time-tested process of collective bargaining. The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are the latest to urge President Obama to assign federal mediators to help the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union negotiate a new contract. White House officials said last week they are confident that management and labor could resolve their differences through the time-tested process of collective bargaining.
But, in a letter dated Friday, Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe and Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick, asked the president to reconsider. The PMA and ILWU have been in contract negotiations since May to replace a six-year agreement that ran out July 1.
Port slowdowns started in Tacoma on Halloween and quickly spread to Seattle and the ports in California, leaving truckers at standstill, food containers at risk of rotting and goods destined for holiday shoppers in the U.S. and overseas stuck. The bottom line is that across many sectors from agriculture to manufacturing, workers are not getting paid during the Thanksgiving season and some businesses are closing down, the letter said. REPORT 23/NOV/2014