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AHPA and NPA co-sign letter to President Biden urging new West Coast port labor agreement

July 5, 2022

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are currently engaged in West Coast port labor negotiations. The previous labor agreement for workers at these key ports – including Los Angeles and Long Beach – expired on July 1.

Together with the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Natural Products Association (NPA), and nearly 100 organizations across industries vitally dependent on cargo effectively moving through key West Coast ports, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has co-signed a letter to President Biden urging the administration to work with the parties to reach a new agreement without any disruption to port operations.

With the nation's supply chains already significantly strained due to the COVID-19 pandemic and still-rising inflation, President Biden met with the negotiating parties in early June. This meeting resulted in ILWU and PMA releasing a joint statement on June 14 reflecting that both parties are committed to reaching a deal, that neither party was planning to strike, and that cargo operations would continue beyond the current contract's expiration.

Even so, in the letter sent to President Biden on July 1, AHPA and the co-signing organizations noted that an immediate extension of the current contract is crucial and asked that the administration work to ensure that the parties:
1.Extend the current contract until a final contract is reached;
2.Commit to remain at the negotiating table and negotiate in good faith; and
3.Agree to not engage in any kind of activity that leads to further disruption at the ports.

“I greatly appreciate the leadership of the National Retail Federation for initiating the submission of this joint letter,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “AHPA's inclusion in this important communication furthers our long-standing commitment to cooperation, collaboration, and consensus with diverse organizations that work together to serve the needs and interests of our membership.”

“Sourcing materials over the last two years has been nothing short of chaotic,” added NPA CEO and President Dan Fabricant. “The supply and labor shortages have only added fuel to the economic fire Americans are feeling every day. It has never been more critical for trade organizations to work together to ensure we prevent further supply chain disruptions. NPA looks forward to working with AHPA and others to find a solution to this industry-wide crisis.”

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