Agricultural exporters are paying close attention to contract negotiations at the nation’s West Coast ports. The Pacific Maritime Association is accusing workers of deliberately slowing down operations. The union says that’s not happening.
The association says terminal operations at the Port of Seattle halted over the weekend. Capital Press says International Longshore and Warehouse Union President Willie Adams points out that the West Coast ports are open while negotiations continue. Over 22,000 workers at 29 ports on the West Coast are working without a contract and have done so since July 1, 2022, and negotiations have lasted 13 months. During the last lengthy negotiations as recently as 2015, farm goods were delayed in getting shipped out.
“We aren’t hearing about delays yet,” says Washington Potato Commission director of government affairs Matt Harris. “That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, and it would potentially disrupt the export growth that we’re trying to achieve.”