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Port Strike Ends….But Productivity Issue Remains

The Long Beach port strike ended late last night. Under terms of the contract, there will be “no outsourcing under this contract” said Steve Berry, lead negotiator for the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor Employers Assn, in a Los Angeles Times article.

Berry said the package included unspecified wage and pension increases. He also said there was added job security in the deal, that included a “no layoff” clause that would go into effect once ratified.

It is unclear if this set of agreements will address the broader issue of port productivity and the impact of this unreliable infrastructure on the global import/export supply chain. US ports are among the lowest in productivity in the world….what does the union agreement do to address this issue? Our discussions with executives suggest that ports are the one of the weakest elements in the global logistics infrastructure. They are inefficient, visibility into shipments is non-existent, and joint planning with other modes (truck, train) is poor and fragmented. These are the issues that workers need to be thinking about as they relate to port customers and the impact on the US economy.