Feb 23, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC -- Media are reporting that an agreement has been reached between dockworkers and employers to bring an end to the work slowdown that has reduced trade in and out of 29 western ports to a slow drip.
The slowdown was particularly troublesome to the California rice industry that exports about half of its crop each year.
After nine months of squabbling between the parties, President Obama dispatched U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to the area to help end the conflict.
While that seems to have worked, it will take some time for operations to return to normal at the ports. And consumer confidence has been impacted as well. Perez told the Los Angeles Times "[t]hey understand that they not only have to restore service, they have to restore confidence."
"The USA Rice Federation had joined with more than 90 ag and trade groups urging a quick resolution to the dispute that was causing the work slowdown," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward. "These delays have had a direct effect on export sales for rice and we're hopeful this settlement is a permanent solution that allows everyone to get back to work."
Contact: Michael Klein (703) 236-1458