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Ranking Member Cassidy Statement on Tentative Agreement Announced at West Coast Ports

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a statement following news that the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. The agreement still needs to be ratified by the port operators and the 22,000 members of the union.

On Monday, Cassidy pressed Department of Labor Acting Secretary Julie Su to develop a plan and take action in the dispute and prevent further supply chain disruptions following reports of Honolulu residents stocking up on household essentials like toilet paper due to concerns over delayed shipments.

“This news is encouraging but the tentative agreement still needs to be ratified by the union members. There are still about 150 labor contracts expiring this year. This dispute had been deteriorating for months, causing work stoppages and millions in losses. This cannot become a habit of swinging to the brink of collapse before getting a handle on the situation,” said Dr. Cassidy.

Unionized dockworkers in the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and the Port of Seattle had engaged in activity aimed at slowing cargo efforts. Last week, the Port of Seattle removed union members from working on shipping vessels due to low productivity. The Port of Tacoma was operating at 50 percent capacity due to the failure of labor to meet the 30-turn-an-hour standard productivity mark. The labor dispute at West Coast Ports had deteriorated to such an extent that retailers and manufacturers urged the White House to take action, with one association “imploring” the White House to intervene.




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