Contract negotiations between dockworkers and employers at U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports have turned frosty, raising the specter of labor unrest during the critical peak autumn shipping season.
The United States Maritime Alliance, which represents shipping companies and marine terminal operators, blasted the International Longshoremen’s Association on Wednesday for taking an “uncompromising stand” in negotiations over a new contract to replace an existing pact that expires Sept. 30.
A representative of the International Longshoremen’s Association couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The autumn is an important time for the shipping industry and the U.S. economy, because it is the period when retailers traditionally stock up in advance of the holidays.
(c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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