WASHINGTON — West Coast dockworkers and shipping operators reached a tentative contract agreement late Saturday and moved another step closer to ending a labor dispute that closed the 29 major West Coast ports for 10 days in October, cost the...
WASHINGTON — West Coast dockworkers and shipping operators reached a tentative contract agreement late Saturday and moved another step closer to ending a labor dispute that closed the 29 major West Coast ports for 10 days in October, cost the economy billions and created anxiety for retailers trying to stock their shelves for the holidays.
Chief federal mediator Peter Hurtgen, called the deal "historic," although he declined to give details about the six-year contract, pending notification of the union and shipping firm memberships. He did say the agreement provides for improvements in wages and benefits for union members, as well as "the necessary technology to ensure the ports continue to modernize and increase efficiency and productivity."
The agreement must still be ratified by a majority of the 10,500 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. A caucus will meet Dec. 9, according to union president James Spinosa, who said the ILWU fully supported the pact. The full membership would vote shortly after.
In a statement issued by the White House Sunday, President Bush said, "This agreement is good for workers, good for employers and good for the American economy. I congratulate labor and management for working together to successfully resolve their disagreement."
A major sticking point in the negotiations was shippers’ desires to phase in new technologies, such as bar-code readers, which would replace handwritten logs and, in theory, allow cargo to move through the ports faster. The union was concerned the new technology would cutsome clerk jobs and — more importantly — that the people hired to use the new technology would not be union labor.
At a news conference Sunday morning at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Francisco, Hurtgen appeared with Spinosa and Pacific Maritime Association president and ceo Joseph Miniace. Hurtgen said the contract, which is twice the length of past agreements, will "provide stability for the industry and economy."
In agreeing to implement new technologies, the union will lose some jobs, but will retain the traditional jurisdiction so that new jobs created by technology will come under union control instead of being outsourced.
The parties reached a tentative agreement on technology several weeks ago, as reported, but have been hammering out ways to fund pension increases since then. It was agreed that some technology-related savings will be plowed into union pensions.Spinosa said he believes his union membership "will be very pleased with the package. This is a great victory for the ILWU and the labor movement."
Both sides suffered bad press and national frustration as produce rotted, plants shut down for lack of parts and time-sensitive goods, like the disposable cameras meant as giveaways for the World Series, went undelivered. Textile companies and manufacturers had orders cancelled; major retailers, including Target Stores Inc., had holiday and private label goods hung up.
Retailers struggling to get inventories in shape for holiday shopping seem to have accomplished that goal, with problems associated with the port situation more or less accounted for (see related story on Christmas shopping starting on page one).
At the news conference, both sides tried to undo the damage, referring to new protocols for dispute resolution. "We are entering into period of mutual cooperation and respect," said Miniace.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews