Washington – The National Retail Federation today released the following statement from Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold on news that the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) have extended their contract negotiations:
“This is a significant step forward, and signals that both sides – labor and management – are serious about reaching a deal.
“The National Retail Federation (NRF) has long urged both sides to continue their negotiations up to and beyond the September 30 contract deadline in order to avoid any supply chain disruption or delay, and we applaud today’s decision.
“This extension should provide for a stable holiday shipping and shopping season over the next few months.
“While this extension, facilitated by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, will provide both sides with more time, it is still critically important that USMX and ILA remain at the negotiation table to hammer out a final contract.
“Until a final contract is ratified, America’s retail community will remain concerned. NRF continues to urge both sides to negotiate in good faith to reach a firm and final deal for the good of the supply chain, and the good of the U.S. economy.”
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s Retail Means Jobs campaign emphasizes the economic importance of retail and encourages policymakers to support a Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda aimed at boosting economic growth and job creation. www.nrf.com