On Wednesday night, a tentative agreement was reached between The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that would bring an end to year-long labor negotiations at west coast ports.
The negotiations had recently turned contentious with work stoppages and more being seen in recent weeks which in turn led to slowing of cargo movement, terminal shutdowns and more. The news of a new agreement is good news, including for red meat exporters and overseas customers.
USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said; “This tentative agreement that’s been reached with the West Coast longshoremen is paramount of importance for us. It’s, you know, once again, a huge percentage of our business, especially the value added chilled business, which is our highest value business for both beef and pork. It goes off the west coast for our Asian markets: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China. These exporters and importers in these countries rely upon a certainty for stability in terms of their shipping logistics. And before this agreement was reached, there was a large level of uncertainty.”
The agreement still needs to be ratified by both sides in a process that could take multiple weeks. However, both parties have stated they believe port operations will return to normal while the agreement is being ratified.