September 7, 2018 ILA-USMX Reach Tentative Labor Agreement On September 5th 2018, an International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) union release stated that all 59 locals “unanimously” approved a contract extension through 2024 after months of on-again, off-again negotiations. This new deal, combined with an existing labor deal with the separate West Coast unions and port employers that lasts through the middle of 2022, would alleviate the potential threat of labor disruptions on the ports of both US coast lines for at least the next 4 years. ILA President Harold J. Daggett, the union’s Chief Negotiator who termed this agreement the best contract he ever witnessed in his 50-plus year ILA career, applauded the successful ratification vote. “This is a great day for the ILA and our union membership,” said President Daggett. “ILA members covered under this ILA-USMX Master Agreement can now look to a bright future…” He went on to say, “I believe that this proposed extension represents a giant step forward in the collective bargaining history of the ILA.” Contentious labor negotiations and subsequent service disruptions can be devastating to the world’s supply chain. Most recently, the negotiations in 2014-2015 on the west coast between the West Coast’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union and port employers caused severe disruptions and gridlock at several ports. “That all had an impact on the bottom line for companies and on the economy as a whole, the new East and Gulf coast agreement provides retailers, manufacturers and exporters with long-term stability.” Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain for the National Retail Federation told the WSJ. The logistics industry is encouraged by the potential of avoiding these disruptions for an extended period of time. Odyssey will continue to monitor the developing situation and provide updates as needed.