Let's Get Ports Moving

The time has come for our Ports to get back to work. The work stoppage needs to end, now.

As I'm sure you've been seeing in the news, all the ports on the west coast of the United States, including the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, have been experiencing severe congestion, largely due to a labor dispute between dockworkers and shipping companies. Ships are idling in the harbor, carrying goods from Asia that need to reach American markets, and businesses all over the country are struggling to deal with a lack of products and a loss of revenue. This situation, and the uncertainty it creates, are having a negative impact on our economy, and President Obama has sent Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to meet with both sides in the negotiations to move them towards a rapid solution. And on behalf of our city, I thank them for this prudent action.

Secretary Perez has announced that today, Friday, is the deadline for a settlement, otherwise the negotiators will be called to Washington, D.C. to continue their talks there. I fully support this action, and I have also been in contact with both sides urging them to move past the single remaining issue of contention and get back to moving the world's goods through our port and driving our nation's - and our city's - economy.

It is understandable that dockworkers and shippers want to find the best terms of agreement for their members. But at this point, continuing the work stoppage is in no one's interest. It is critical that everyone gets back to work at full capacity immediately. That's why, along with other west coast mayors, I've been in daily communication with the negotiating parties, urging them to reach an agreement - and I'll continue to do that until there is a settlement. And there has been progress - all but one issue was resolved. Now is the time to find a compromise on that point and get our goods and our economy moving.

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