USHSLA joins coalition urging resolution of west coast port dispute

United States
Published:  19 January, 2015

On January 16, the U.S Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) joined a coalition of 175 industry organizations urging the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to stay the course in their labour contract negotiations and resolve the congestion issues which have plagued shipments of hides and skins products in recent months.

“We respect the rights of the parties in the collective bargaining process,” said Stephen Sothmann, President of the USHSLA. “But their inability to resolve the dispute is having a significant impact on other U.S industries and interests, especially hides and skins exporters. This is an untenable situation that must be remedied.”

U.S hides and skins companies are reporting cargo shipment delays of anywhere from 21–30 days and growing. The industry exports an estimated $40-45 million in hides, skins and wet-blue products via West Coast ports each week. Over 90% of U.S. hides and skins are exported to foreign markets.