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Meat Industry Calls for Action at West Coast Ports

21 January 2015

US - The North American Meat Institute has joined more than 175 organisations representing manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors and transportation providers calling for an end to the west coast port dispute that is hitting trade.

The organisations have signed a letter urging the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to reach a prompt conclusion to the ongoing labour 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 US companies, including meat and poultry companies that typically ship 200,000 tonnes 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 per cent of US imports enter through these docks, and a complete shut down of the ports may result in a loss of $2 billion per day for the US economy, according to NAMI.

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