Federal Intervention Seeks To Put End To West Coast Dispute

    The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service gave a statement that it will aid in resolving the still unsolved negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. These groups represent employers and up to 20,000 dockworkers respectively at over twenty ports along the western coastline. Federal mediators are seeking to put an end to these stalled negotiations that have filled the freight shipping news for the past few months.

    The held-up negotiations are due mostly to contract disputes, as well as a multitude of issues. Some of these include both wages and work rule disagreements. Despite rumors that have had of a negotiation being reached, no common ground has been met. This has come as good news to companies who have shipments stalled for days, as lines of ships have been sitting quietly just waiting to dock at overcrowded ports. Originally the Union had been against Federal intervention, but as holidays pass and the Union losing negotiating power, there has been a joint request for aid.

    Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Adminitration has been placed to help both parties meet an agreeable solution. For some such as the National Retail Federation, this intervention is a sign of progress of finally being made. "After months of increasing congestion and standstills, this is the first positive news from the West Coast" the group stated. While there is no news as to when these meetings will take place, or how long before a solution is reached, it is hopeful that Federal intervention will reach an agreement to satisfy both parties.