AHPA and NPA co-sign letter urging Biden administration to reach new labor agreement with West Coast ports

The previous labor agreement for the workers at West Coast ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, expired on July 1.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) and the Natural Product Association (NPA; Washington, D.C.) have cosigned a letter, along with nearly 100 other organizations across the country, urging the Biden administration to work with The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to reach a new labor agreement without the disruption of port operations. The previous labor agreement for the workers at West Coast ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, expired on July 1.

President Biden met with ILWU and PMA in early June, resulting in a statement from the unions stating that they were committed to reaching a deal and would continue cargo operations beyond the current contract’s expiration with no plans to strike. While the negotiating parties are cooperating, the letter’s cosigners, representing a wide range of industries dependent on cargo moving effectively through the key West Coast ports, emphasize the importance of immediately extending the current contract. In the letter, the co-signing organizations ask that the administration ensure that the parties:

  • Extend the current contract until a final contract is reached;
  • Commit to remain at the negotiating table and negotiate in good faith; and
  • Agree to not engage in any kind of activity that leads to further disruption at the ports.

“I greatly appreciate the leadership of the National Retail Federation for initiating the submission of this joint letter,” said AHPA’s president Michael McGuffin, in a press release. “AHPA’s inclusion in this important communication furthers our long-standing commitment to cooperation, collaboration, and consensus with diverse organizations that work together to serve the needs and interests of our membership.”

“Sourcing materials over the last two years has been nothing short of chaotic,” added NPA’s CEO and president Dan Fabricant, PhD. “The supply and labor shortages have only added fuel to the economic fire Americans are feeling every day. It has never been more critical for trade organizations to work together to ensure we prevent further supply chain disruptions. NPA looks forward to working with AHPA and others to find a solution to this industry-wide crisis.”