The last major dockworker strike on the East Coast was in 1977. In the nearly half century since the country’s Atlantic and Gulf ports have been quiet. This has given retailers like House depositAmazon, Target and IKEA are trusted to reroute considerable volumes of containerized goods from the West Coast, a hotbed of labor activism, through Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, Norfolk, Virginia and New York.
This may end soon. The labor peace that has been the bedrock of East Coast supply chains is now under threat. The president of the East and Gulf Coast dockworkers union, the International Longshoremen’s Association, told his members Nov. 4 to save money in preparation “for the possibility of a coast-wide strike.” He stated that the union will refuse to extend its current contract with ocean carriers, which expires on September 30, 2024.
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