Last month, we highlighted three bills being considered on Capitol Hill. One, the Ports Transparency Act, which would have required marine terminal operators and ports to supply the federal government with productivity data, has been removed of its bite. Labor and port interests lobbied to have the reporting requirement removed during periods of contract negotiations. Labor feared the data would be used to undermine their negotiating position.
The logistics community on the West Coast suffered greatly during the protracted labor negotiations. The scars are still visible. The bruises remain tender. The emotions…anger, disappointment, concern…endure.
What everyone wants to know is what we can do now to avoid a repeat of the pain and suffering four years from now.
There are three pieces of legislation at the US Capitol worth noting and, if so inclined, worth letting your US Senators and Representatives know you support the bills
Preventing Labor Union Slowdowns Act of 2015 (PLUS): This bill was developed by ICTSI (Portland terminal operator) and sponsored by Senator James Rich (R-ID). PLUS would amend the National Labor Relations Act (governing body of port labor) making work slowdowns illegal and exposing unions engaging in such actions to monetary damages.
Protecting Orderly and Responsible Transit of Shipments Act (PORTS): Sponsored by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), this bill expands Taft-Hartley to include slowdowns (currently only covers strikes and lockouts) and grants governors the authority to evoke Taft-Hartley (currently only the president has such authority)
Ports Transparency Act: This legislation requires marine terminal operators and ports to supply the federal government with productivity data. This data could then be used to establish productivity standards. It is sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-SD).
There has yet to be an official bill brought forward transferring the governing body of ocean front labor contracts from the National Labor Relations Board Act to the Railway Labor Act