The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold on the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) vote approving a new, long-term master labor contract covering port terminal operations along the East and Gulf Coast ports:
“Today’s vote ratifying a new, long-term master labor contract is welcomed news to the nation’s retailers, who have been on pins-and-needles for the past year due to the possibility of a supply chain disruption along the 14 East and Gulf Coast container ports.
“The ILA and United States Maritime Alliance should be commended for reaching today’s pinnacle vote, and doing so without engaging in any disruption, stoppage, lockout or strike.
“The retail industry would also like to recognize the dedication of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the hard work of FMCS Director George Cohen and his team of negotiators, who managed to keep both sides at the table to hammer out this deal.
“The nation’s ports are our economic lifeline to the world. Today’s vote will bring much-needed certainty and efficiency to East and Gulf Coast port operations and secure the United States’ position in the global supply chain.
“Supply chain stakeholders, both importers and exporters – from agriculture and manufacturing to retailing and wholesaling – applaud today’s vote.”