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Retail Industry Applauds New East and Gulf Coast Port Contract

For Immediate Release
Stephen E. Schatz (202) 626-8119
SchatzS@NRF.com

Retail Industry Applauds New East and Gulf Coast Port Contract

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2013 – The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold on the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) vote approving a new, long-term master labor contract covering port terminal operations along the East and Gulf Coast ports:

“Today’s vote ratifying a new, long-term master labor contract is welcomed news to the nation’s retailers, who have been on pins-and-needles for the past year due to the possibility of a supply chain disruption along the 14 East and Gulf Coast container ports.

“The ILA and United States Maritime Alliance should be commended for reaching today’s pinnacle vote, and doing so without engaging in any disruption, stoppage, lockout or strike.

“The retail industry would also like to recognize the dedication of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the hard work of FMCS Director George Cohen and his team of negotiators, who managed to keep both sides at the table to hammer out this deal.

“The nation’s ports are our economic lifeline to the world. Today’s vote will bring much-needed certainty and efficiency to East and Gulf Coast port operations and secure the United States’ position in the global supply chain.

“Supply chain stakeholders, both importers and exporters – from agriculture and manufacturing to retailing and wholesaling – applaud today’s vote.”

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

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