US West Coast Issues Advance

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) continued their talks beyond the July 1st deadline.

The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) reported a spokesman for PMA cautioned that even though talks have continued, the ILWU did not agree to a contract extension. An extension would have included the contract's “no strike” clause and arbitration provisions.

Though this did not imply there would be any job actions, the move does not preclude tactics such as slowdowns.

On a separate matter, the California legislature began a recess through the end of July which has delayed but not stopped progress of the state's senate bill SB 974 sponsored by Long Beach Democrat Alan Lowenthal. The bill would levy a fee of $30 per twenty-foot-equivalent unit (TEU) on containers moving through the ports of Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Earlier, Lowenthal had received the support of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The California legislature reconvenes on August 4, 2008 and must consider the bill before August 31st in order to be passed into law in 2008.

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