Hopes for an early resolution to contract talks underway at U.S. West Coast ports look to be slipping away. The Wall Street Journal reports that shipping industry officials say the negotiations between dockworkers and employers are at a virtual standstill, with the sides locked down by local concerns and unable to move to contentious wage and automation issues.
That suggests the bargaining that some had hoped would be done by early fall may push toward the end of the year and perhaps even into 2023.
U.S. importers and exporters are wary of such drawn-out negotiations because they fear the chances of new disruptions would rise in supply chains that have already been knocked sideways for more than two years.
There are hints of rising tensions with disputes growing across the region’s ports. More troubling for shippers is that a season of uncertainty shows no sign of ending.