The Never-Ending West Coast Port Standoff

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Thought the West Coast port negotiations were over? Think again.

Ongoing contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have plagued the ports for the past seven months.

“Statements and rumors that our negotiations are ‘close’ to a final contract are not true,” the PMA said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Even after seven months of negotiations, we remain far apart on several issues, and the union slowdowns continue to disrupt the movement of cargo through the ports,” the statement continued.

Their statement concluded, “Business is being lost, and we are concerned that the damage is permanent and shippers will be fearful to put their trust in the West Coast ports going forward.”

But union officials remain optimistic about how the talks have been progressing.

“There’s nothing wrong with dispelling false rumors of a tentative agreement, but the fact remains that negotiations remain positive and are making progress,” Craig Merrilees, the communications director for the ILWU, told TheDCNF.

Merrilees also disputes claims that the union is causing the port congestion.

“The port congestion crisis is a long-term problem that pre-dated allegations of a slowdown — and will unfortunately continue after a settlement is reached,” he said.

Merrilees concluded, “Both sides remain committed to reaching a fair agreement as soon as possible.”

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Connor D. Wolf