The groups are warning of dire consequences if the strike goes ahead

The groups are warning of dire consequences if the strike goes ahead

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is among a coalition of 107 groups urging President Obama to take “immediate action” to stop a planned strike at ports across the US east coast. 

In a letter sent yesterday (20 December), the groups, which include producers, wholesalers, retailers and importers, call on the President to take “all options” available to him to prevent the strike. 

After months of negotiations over labour contracts, talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) broke down on Tuesday without resolution. Strike action is expected by 29 December, the date when the current labour agreement expires. It is expected to affect port and related activity in as many as 18 states.

The groups warn in the letter: “Failure to reach an agreement resulting in a coast-wide shutdown will have serious economy-wide impacts.” 

WSWA president & CEO Craig Wolf said: “American jobs depend on the predictable and well-managed flow of goods through US ports to businesses and consumers.

“WSWA members and our coalition partners believe that both parties can reach agreement over these issues - and that President Obama and his administration should take all appropriate action to ensure the movement of goods without disruption to our economy and impact on jobs.” 

The WSWA, which represents the wholesale tier of the US wine and spirits industry, has more than 350 member companies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.