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The ILWU/PMA contract expired July 1st and they still have not come to a resolution. I know for most of us in the supply chain community, a hard deadline means something, but that doesn't seem to be the case in with these groups. It seems from the very beginning these negotiations weren't conducted in good faith from either party. There has been so much effort made to make the other side look like the guilty party in the press that these two entities have completely lost sight of the goal. 

While the goal should have been to complete a fair contract on or before the deadline, the negotiations started with a lethargic note that both sides have agreed to keep the ports open during the contract negotiations if they run past the expiration of the current contract. That lack of urgency set the tone for these negotiations from the start and that lack of urgency has since permeated throughout the negotiation and the terminal productivity ever since.

If both sides could just sit down and negotiate in good faith, this would be resolved. Stay out of the press, don't post messages on Youtube that infuriate the other side and paint one side of the picture, and stop releasing statements that are slanted and promote panic in the importing community. 

This week the PMA released a statement they were coordinating a lockout Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Why did they skip Friday, you might ask? Well, if you look at the ILWU Paid Holiday Schedule, they were already slated to be closed Thursday for Lincoln's Birthday and again Monday for President's Day. This new lockout is essentially the same process they had last week with vessel operations suspended over the weekend. Please stop posturing in the press and focus on the actual goal of the discussions. Whether you agree with the ILWU or PMA, the fact is a contract has to get done to get the ports operational again.

If these discussions had started out more focused and the PMA had locked out the ILWU back in July, we'd all be better off right now. Those of us that remember the lockout in 2002 have always used that as a gauge for how bad it could get, but this continued lack of production through the ports is much worse. Get back to the table, stop posturing with the press, get used to the phrase "no comment," and get this finished.



LINQ Staff

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