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US West Coast Shipping Operations Continue Amid Labor Talks


Cargo containers sit stacked at the Port of Los Angeles, on Oct. 20, 2021, in San Pedro, Calif. Dockworkers and shipping companies at 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast say they plan to keep cargo moving as they negotiate a contract. The last one expired Friday.

Dockworkers and shipping companies on the U.S. West Coast say operations will continue normally as they negotiate following Friday’s expiration of a contract between the two sides.

A joint letter released by the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said, “cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached.”

The negotiations involve 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington that together handle nearly 40% of all U.S. imports.

The talks have been closely followed, including by the White House with President Joe Biden speaking with both sides.

More than 150 business groups also urged Biden to push for a quick resolution to avoid any further disruptions on top of existing supply chain challenges.

One major issue in the talks is the level of automation used at ports, with operators arguing more automation brings more jobs by processing more cargo and dock workers saying automation would reduce the number of workers needed.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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