THE Port of Long Beach executive director Mario Cordero doesn't see talks over new labour contract for 22,000 dockers at 29 west coast operations reaching a settlement by a July 1 deadline, reports Bloomberg.
"I have confidence that the two parties know what's at stake here," said Mr Cordero. "They will resolve their differences within a reasonable time. But it's not going to be before July 1. I think we may be looking to a couple of months thereafter. On that, I'm optimistic."
Talks to work out the new labour contract started May 10.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association both stated they expect cargo to keep moving until an agreement is reached.
Two years of record consumer spending have seen cargo loads hammer ports, particularly on the US west coast.
While wages and benefits are sticking points, the employers' right to automate could emerge as an problem.
Mr Cordero's caution comes after Newark's Journal of Commerce reported that the ILWU asked for negotiations to be put on hold until June.
Meanwhile, Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka declared there's "no need to worry right now" about the negotiations, adding that "dockworkers are still going out in record numbers and will continue to do so."
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