Federal mediators have been brought in to try to resolve the eight-day strike that has crippled the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, stranding goods at the apparel industry’s busiest point of entry for imports.Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Tuesday that the 800-member International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit and the Harbor Employers Association have agreed to federal mediation of their contract dispute.George Cohen, head of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, was expected to arrive on Tuesday, but the strike will continue until an agreement has been reached.The mayor, noting that 44 percent of seaborne container goods that enter the U.S. come through the twin ports, said it was important to get them operating again in order to compete with Panama, which is near completion of a major expansion. Currently, 10 of the 14 container terminals at both ports have been closed and ships are either idling outside the docks or being diverted to Oakland, Calif., Mexico or Panama. “It is clear to me the parties need a mediator to help them…come up with a creative solution that will get us back to work,” Villaraigosa said at a press conference “We are looking at almost 20,000 people impacted by this, from the truckers and longshoremen and related businesses.”RELATED STORY: Industry Feels Impact of Strike >>While some expect a quick resolution, Villaraigosa said, “It is still clear to me that we are some bit apart, but there has been movement.”The Los Angeles ports are the busiest in the country, supporting 896,000 jobs in the region, 1.2 million jobs in California and 3.6 million U.S. jobs. It has been estimated that cargo worth almost $1 billion a day has been stranded outside of the ports or diverted elsewhere.Earlier Tuesday, a coalition of 98 major trade organizations sent a letter to President Obama, Cabinet officials, members of Congress, Villaraigosa and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster calling on them to do whatever is necessary to get workers back to work at the ports, even if it meant invoking the Taft-Hartley Act. That law allows the President to end a strike or lockout if it poses a “threat to national security.” President George W. Bush did just that in October 2002 when the Pacific Maritime Association locked out ILWU workers from West Coast docks.The strike began last week when ILWU workers, who have been working without a contract since June 2010, walked out of negotiations with the Harbor Employers Association, saying its primary concern is that it will lose jobs through attrition and employers will outsource new jobs to nonunion workers.“In the past six days, ocean carriers have begun to divert cargo to Mexico and Canada because there is great concern that diverting cargo to other U.S. ports would only widen the labor actions,” the trade group coalition said in the letter. “Meanwhile, ships are beginning to back up in the harbor and port terminal operators are running out of room to store empty containers and other intermodal equipment. Even if labor returned to work today, it would take several weeks to undo the gridlock this disruption has already set in motion.”The coalition warned of dire consequences if a resolution is not reached quickly. They said manufacturers using imported inputs will soon have to idle operations, exporters will fail to meet delivery times for their Asian customers, agricultural companies will have to divert production to domestic use, retailers will be unable to replenish inventories quickly, and importers, wholesales and brands will face cancellations if they cannot meet delivery dates.The letter follows on the heels of others that have been sent in the past week by the National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association and the American Apparel & Footwear Association.Meanwhile, East Coast port talks, also being supervised by the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, are continuing, according to James A. Capo, chairman and chief executive officer of the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX). The USMX and International Longshoremen’s Association agreed in September to extend their collective bargaining agreement covering East and Gulf Coast port workers for 90 days through Dec. 29.The extension was welcome news for retailers stocking shelves for the holidays. The two sides have been in contract talks since March. In 2011, the 14 ports handled more than 110 million tons of cargo.
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)