(Reuters) – The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents terminal operators, said in a tweet on Saturday that coordinated and disruptive work procedures led by the International Warehouse and Warehouse Union (ILWU) had halted cargo operations at the port. Seattle.
The PMA said: “On the first shift today, the International Media Federation refused to send any longshore workers to the container terminals, which led to the closure of the port.
However, the International Federation of Media said that the West Coast ports are open and accused the PMA of “taking advantage of unilateral information to influence the operation”.
“Despite what you hear from the PMA, West Coast ports are open because we continue to operate under our expired collective bargaining agreement,” said Willie Adams, ILWU International President.
Unions are seeking wage increases that reflect workers’ contribution to the shipping industry’s record profits from the pandemic cargo boom. They also want additional compensation for hours worked since their contract expired.
West Coast ports from California to Washington state are critical to America’s supply chains and economy. More than 22,000 dock workers at those commercial portals have been working without a contract since July.
The largest US business group on Friday urged President Joe Biden to immediately intervene and appoint an independent mediator to address a long-running labor dispute at West Coast ports.
In a letter to Biden, Susan Clark, CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, noted “continued and potentially extended outages at these ports en route to the peak shipping season.”
The Port of Seattle did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Reporting by Gokul Pisharody in Bengaluru; Editing by Diane Craft and Andrea Ricci
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