Importers Brace For Possible Port Strike
by: Andrew Schneider, January 14, 2013 3:01:00 am
The International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance have three weeks to work out a new contract. If they can’t, there’s a risk that either the longshoremen will strike or employers will lock them out. Ben Hackett is a maritime industry consultant and publisher of Global Port Tracker.
“The impact in Houston would be catastrophic. If there was a strike, it would come to a dead stop.”
The contract was set to expire December 29, but federal mediators convinced the two sides to extend talks another month. Jonathan Gold is vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation.
“Companies are once again nervous about what will happen as we arrive at the February 6 deadline for, again, a potential for a strike or shutdown on February 7.”
A strike or lockout would close more than a dozen ports from Texas to Maine, affecting nearly half the nation’s ocean cargo.