Ports of Tacoma and Seattle urge immediate PMA-ILWU contract resolution
In light of U.S. West Coast ports’ limited activity this weekend, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma continue to press the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union to resolve the impasse in contract negotiations.
The ports do not have a seat at the negotiating table, however we have been exercising the limited options available to try to mitigate impacts on our customers and to keep cargo moving.
We share the frustration of the farmers, manufacturers, retailers, truckers and warehouse and distribution operators, who are suffering collateral damage as they continue to lose billions of dollars and lay off employees.
A lockout or strike would put even more stress on the working people throughout our state who rely on ports for their livelihood.
Taken together, marine cargo operations in Tacoma and Seattle support more than 48,000 jobs across the region and provide a critical gateway for the export of Washington state products to Asia.
This protracted negotiation is resulting in widespread economic damage and will have a lasting impact on our state’s economy.
We risk losing our role as a critical gateway as shippers seek alternatives to West Coast ports.
About the ports of Seattle and Tacoma
Combined, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are the third-largest container gateway in North America. A recent analysis performed by Martin Associates estimates that the two ports’ marine cargo operations supported more than 48,000 jobs, which generated nearly $4.3 billion in economic activity in 2013. If the farmers and manufacturers who ship products through the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are factored in, the ports’ activities reach 443,000 jobs overall in Washington.