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NAMI Signs Coalition Letter Urging Action at West Coast Ports

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

NAMI joined more than 175 organizations representing manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors and transportation providers in signing onto a coalition letter urging the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to reach a prompt conclusion to the ongoing labor dispute at the West Coast ports. The letter expresses disappointment with the current direction of the negotiations, and requests that both sides commit to resolving the dispute by working with Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Scot Beckenbaugh, who has been appointed to ensure that the ILWU and PMA reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

The letter also highlights the adverse economic impact of prolonged negotiations, noting that the failure to resolve this dispute is damaging the global competitiveness and reputation of U.S. companies, including meat and poultry companies that typically ship 200,000 metric tons to Asian markets monthly.

Despite the presence of a federal mediator, many terminal operations have reached, or are approaching, complete gridlock, delaying imports and stalling exports. More than 40 percent of the nation's imports enter through these docks, and a complete shutdown of the ports may result in a loss of $2 billion per day for the U.S. economy.

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