The recent progress in West Coast port labor talks has hit a wall in the Pacific Northwest, reports The Wall Street Journal. The negotiations between dockworkers and employers are at a standstill, because of a fight between two unions over who maintains equipment at a terminal at the Port of Seattle.
The labor battle is complicating the talks and raises the threat of disruptions at major U.S. gateways for trans-Pacific trade.
The stalemate is a sobering reminder that the high-stakes negotiations remain fragile even after recent optimism that deals on wages and automation could be in reach this fall. Many of the 29 ports covered in the contract have contentious issues at stake, however, and progress on those may be hard fought.
In Seattle, management says a federal board has already decided another union has jurisdiction over maintenance jobs, leaving that outside this contract’s boundaries.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.