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Concern Over Impending Port Strikes


The labor agreement for members of the Gulf and East Coast unions representing longshoremen will expire on September 30th.  Negotiations are generally acrimonious and contentious and usually go down to the wire, often requiring Department of Labor mediation to reach an agreement.


The United States Meat Export Federation has expressed concern over the slow rate of progress noting that 45 percent of U.S. pork and 30 percent of beef exports pass through Gulf and East Coast installations.  Rapid transit through ports is necessary for chilled products including beef to the E.U. and the Middle East and pork to Central and South America.


The International Longshoremen’s Association has confirmed that they do not intend working cargos beyond the contract deadline. A strike in September will be damaging to the entire economy but especially to exporters of meat and agricultural products. Accordingly serious negotiations and evident concessions will be required during summer.