Arlington, Va. – The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement in response to an announcement that the U.S. Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen’s Association have agreed to an extension of the collective bargaining agreement due to expire on December 29.

“Retailers welcome news that the ports will remain open for business through the busy spring shipping season. Retailers are however eager to see the parties reach a long-term agreement that will ensure stable and predictable operations at East and Gulf Coast ports,” said Kelly Kolb, vice president for government affairs. “Ports play a critical role in the supply chain and a potential disruption would be harmful to the retail industry as it would lead to lost sales and aggravated customers.”

“RILA will continue to closely monitor the progress of negotiations and strongly urges the parties to reach a long-term agreement as soon as possible in order to remove the threat of a devastating work stoppage at the East and Gulf Coast ports.”

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Source: Retail Industry Leaders Association

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