‘Container Cliff’ Imminent as Contract Negotiations Break Down -NRF Calls on President Obama to Immediately Intervene to Prevent Port Strike-
WASHINGTON, December 18, 2012 – The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold on the breakdown of contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd.:
“It is extremely disheartening to learn that the two sides failed to reach an agreement during today’s negotiations. NRF urges both sides to remain at the table until a deal is reached.
“It is imperative that both sides verbally announce their intentions to return to the negotiations. A coast-wide port shutdown would have a significant impact across all businesses and industries that rely on the ports, particularly retail.
“The last thing the economy needs right now is another strike, which would impact all international trade and commerce at the nation’s East and Gulf Coast container ports. This is truly a ‘container cliff’ in the making.
“The retail industry, once again, calls on President Obama to engage directly in the negotiations. The President should utilize all available tools, including Taft-Hartley, to eliminate even the threat of a strike or lockout. The time for leadership is now.”
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com ###