West Coast port labor talks have run aground. Negotiations for a new contract covering more than 22,000 workers at 29 ports have made little progress for three months because of a dispute between two unions over who gets certain jobs at the Port of Seattle.
The Wall Street Journal says the holdup illustrates how a local issue is tying up talks that started in May and that are crucial to the movement of goods between the U.S. and Asia.
People familiar with the negotiations say little progress is being made because dockworkers first want to see a resolution of the Seattle jobs dispute that pits the International Longshore and Warehouse Union against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Shipping industry officials are hoping now that midterm elections are over, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh might become more involved and help pull the talks out of the sand.
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