Update: U.S. Ports May Avoid Strikes

Some potential good news at the 29 ports along the U.S. West Coast: labor negotiations are set to resume Aug. 4 to head off a strike — one that could cost the U.S. economy more than $2 billion a day.

About 20,000 dock workers have continued to work since their contracts expired July 1, as the union and maritime associations negotiate over salaries and health care.

Both sides have characterized previous talks as “productive,” which is a good sign. A work stoppage of 10 days (the length of the last one in 2002) could cost $7.1 billion in lost exports!

Since the West Coast ports are responsible for almost half of all U.S. maritime trade — including 70% from Asia — some companies are putting contingency plans in place, such as relying on ports in Canada and Mexico or shipping merchandise earlier.

Fingers crossed that the talks lead to new agreements and nobody has to see what a major disruption in the supply line looks like!

We’ll keep you posted.

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