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The Port of Seattle Currently Closed Over Union Disputes

You are currently viewing The Port of Seattle Currently Closed Over Union Disputes
The Port of Seattle is one of the largest in North America!
  • Post category:News

Ongoing labor disputes with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have caused the Port of Seattle to indefinitely shut down. The Union has been refusing to send in labor workers to work at container terminals at the port, which initially just caused delays but now resulted in the closing of the port. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has been in dispute with the Pacific Maritime Association.

The Union is working towards negotiations for a contract that is “fair and equitable.”

As a result of the delays, there are goods with an estimated value of $5.2 billion floating around in Southern Californian ports. While this has been going on, each side has been releasing statements acknowledging the issue in separate ways. The union’s statement spoke primarily about their ultimate goals for things they want to come from the negotiations. PMA’s statements have been mostly pointing fingers at the ILWU. The ILWU has called out PMA for their statements, saying that they are attempting to form biases to alter the negotiation process.

The President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Willie Adams, disputed the claims that all west coast ports are closed, instead pointing out that they are still operating during these negotiations. However, it does appear that the Port of Seattle is in fact shut down at the moment. This port being closed does leave a big gap in the shipping industry as it is one of the biggest maritime ports in North America. It is a large port relied on by many for produce and grain shipments.

According to the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, the staffing issues have caused negative feelings to develop with regard to the U.S.’ status as a dependable trade partner.

The Seattle Port primarily exports apples, milk, cattle, wheat, potatoes, and hay. With its sister port, the Port of Tacoma, the Port of Seattle makes up the Northwest Seaport Alliance. The NWSA is one of the U.S.’ biggest port groups for refrigerated containers. Many shippers are concerned about the worsening reputation the US is getting, as they worry they will start losing trade partners and customers. Many hope that the negotiations go in favor of the union and their wants but hope that they can end sooner rather than later. The longer the negotiation process goes on and the longer they go with low staff or closing ports, the higher the chance is that they actually start to lose trade relationships.

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