Port Contract Optimism

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) reports an International Longshore and Harbor Workers Union representative expressed optimism on the completion of contract talks.

The current longshore contract expires on June 30, 2008 and has been the subject of much speculation given that the last contract talks in 2002 ended in a lock out by the Pacific Maritime Association, representing port management.

However, NITL reports the union source was optimistic a tentative agreement on a new multi-year contract can be concluded by the expiration of the current contract.

The main sticking point in 2002 was on how new technology would be implemented. The new contract faces hurdles in the area of health and welfare issues.

The 10-day shut down of West Coast ports in 2002 cost the US economy from $1 billion to $2 billion per day.

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