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US port workers could hit ship owners and importers where it hurts

Ship owners, shippers, importers, and the US economy in particular will suffer huge losses from a port strike on the American East Coast. The unions are well aware how costly a strike would be for the ship owners, says Lars Jensen, SeaIntel. Learn more about who the ship owners are facing off against.

Photo: Julio Cortez

A major strike of 15,000 port workers in 14 ports along the entire American East Coast, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, could have massive consequences for ship owners, shippers, and the US economy in particular, says Lars Jensen, partner at the analyst bureau SeaIntel. He does, however, find it difficult to say whether this is a part of the negotiation tactics, or whether the threat of a strike was real when the port workers’ union International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the employees of the US Maritime Alliance went their separate ways late Wednesday night.

The current agreement expires September 30th, and the plan is to replace it with a new six-year agreement. The reports from the negotiating parties so far indicate a complete collapse.

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