FDRA welcomes proposed port strike agreement

United States
Published:  21 February, 2015

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) on February 20 a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties. 

"The footwear industry is extremely excited about tonight's announcement that a deal has been reached between the PMA and the ILWU," said Matt Priest, President of FDRA - America's largest footwear trade association. "Our members and the industry at large rely on a complex and innovative global supply chain to deliver footwear to American consumers.  Recent delays distinctly highlighted the importance of collaborative and efficient operations at our nation's ports. We applaud both the PMA and the ILWU for working so hard to find a resolution to the negotiations and look forward to full adoption of the agreement and the immediate resumption of port operations."

Priest added, "Over the next few weeks, we will start to see a slight reduction in congestion at the ports.  However, with thousands of containers stacked up on boats and dockside, we strongly encourage the ports and longshoremen to work together to unwind the large backlog and help us get our footwear through the ports and into our warehouses as quickly as possible."

PMA & ILWU Release:

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union today (February 20) announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports. The deal was reached with assistance from U.S Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. The parties will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time.  The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties.

"After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry," said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Bob McEllrath in a joint statement. "We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations."

Statement by the White House Press Secretary on the West Coast Ports Agreement:

"This is great news for the parties involved in the negotiation and a huge relief for our economy - particularly the countless American workers, farmers, and businesses that have been affected by the dispute and those facing even greater disruption and costs with further delays. Helping resolve this dispute has been a top priority, and last weekend the President directed Labor Secretary Tom Perez to travel to California to meet with the parties to help them reach a resolution because further delays would have been harmful to these workers and the economy. The President was kept updated on the negotiations over the past several weeks, including receiving an update last night from Secretary Perez. The President is grateful to Secretary Perez for his hard work bringing about a successful resolution to this dispute, and for the help of federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh.  And he calls on the parties to work together to clear out the backlogs and congestion in the West Coast Ports as they finalize their agreement." 

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