Port Talks Advance,
by Mike Hornick
Reports of delays and disruptions at West Coast ports continue despite signs of progress in contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Management has confirmed a tentative agreement with the union on chassis maintenance, one of several sticking points in talks dating back to July 1 when the last contract expired. Details of the agreement have not been released.
Federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh has been working with both sides since Jan. 5 on a new contract for 29 ports.
But as talks proceeded, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition reported a work stoppage Jan. 27 at the Port of Portland. That news came as the coalition was holding a workshop in Portland for exporters who want to see the dispute resolved and its effects mitigated.
"ILWU Local 8 has not sent any labor to the terminal," the coalition said in a statement. "There will be no gate or yard activity today and the ships that are alongside will not work. At this time the terminal security will be shutting the gate and letting trucks that are in the gate know that the terminal will be closing."
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