Farm Bureau urging resolution in West Coast port dispute
Despite a surprising lack of coverage in the media, the West Coast port labor dispute still rages on, and is in fact, worsening and in need of federal intervention. Since May, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Assn. (which runs two ports in California) have been in labor contract negotiations, unfortunately with little success. Now, West Coast ports are starting to experience crisis levels of congestion as more ships are unable to load or unload.
With rumors of an imminent union strike, this is bad news for Oregon agriculture — which exports 40% of its total ag products to international markets — not to mention U.S. consumers at the start of the holiday shopping season.
Oregon Farm Bureau signed a letter, along with many other organizations (see it below), that will be sent to the White House asking for help mediating between the two parties.
American Farm Bureau also sent a letter to the White House and has met with several federal agencies, including the Transportation and Commerce Depts., to make sure the administration understands the severity of the situation.
Senators from California, Oregon and Washington also sent a letter to both parties encouraging the port and union to stay at the table and conclude a deal as soon as possible.
So far in Oregon, OFB has heard that straw exporters are being impacted and shipments of onions are being stalled.
Oregon farmers or ranchers who are being affected by the port dispute are asked to share their stories with Farm Bureau. The more stories we can gather about how family farmers and ranchers are being impacted, the stronger our plea to get this situation resolved quickly. Send an email to [email protected].
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