Amid the ongoing labor dispute posing threats to over two dozen ports along West Coast, US President Barack Obama has asked Labor Secretary Tom Perez to spur talks between the dockworkers union and the shipping group to find solution to the months-long stalemate that has led to severe disruptions in service at the ports.
On Saturday, the White House released a statement saying the President has asked Labor Secretary to meet both the parties and find an early solution to the issue amid concerns of the serious economic consequences following the dispute.
White House spokesperson Eric Schultz said in a statement, “The President has directed his Secretary of Labor to visit California and meet the parties urging them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table.”
“The negotiations over the functioning of the West Coast Ports in the US have been taking place for a long time, but there is no sign of solution to the problem despite the administration urging the parties to resolve their differences,” Schultz said.
The President will be regularly updated about the meeting outcome and progress to the stalemate by the Labor Secretary, according to Schultz.
The months-long labor dispute between the shipping group and the longshoremen has posed serious threats on the closure of 29 West Coast ports in the country.
The last contract of the workers expired in July 2014, compelling both the parties to work without any agreement. The labor problem rising from the contract lapse was further fuelled by the shipping owners who accused the union workers for slowing down on the job as a negotiating tactic. But, the local union had turned down all the allegations.