Sacramento, CA – Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) sent a letter to the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Thursday urging the two sides to end the stalemate that is damaging West Coast Ports and the California economy. To view a video of Allen speaking out on the Port issue, click here. The text of Allen’s letter is below:
February 12, 2015
Mr. Robert McEllrath, President
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
1188 Franklin Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94109
Mr. James McKenna, Chairman and CEO
Pacific Maritime Association
555 Market Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Dear Mr. McEllrath and Mr. McKenna,
I am writing to express my deep concern about the prolonged congestion and slow-down of activity at seaports throughout the state of California. Of special concern to me is how the resulting deceleration at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is impacting the greater Los Angeles region’s economy. As the state Senator who represents thousands of people in the South Bay and Westside of Southern California whose businesses and livelihoods are placed at great risk by any delay in goods movement, I respectfully ask you to resolve this matter as soon as possible. Many of the individuals affected by this situation are small businesses operating on the thinnest of margins who cannot withstand the financial hardship created by this crisis.
In addition to the harsh blow to our region’s businesses and the many workers who rely on these businesses for their income, another unfortunate consequence of this slow-down is the decision by certain port customers to redirect the import and export of their products to ports of call outside of our region. As you know well, the competition for trade is fierce, and I believe we can ill afford to give customers a legitimate reason to take their business elsewhere, potentially leading to huge economic losses for our state, regional, and local economy.
I would be happy to assist in any way possible to resolve this matter, and I appreciate your consideration of my request.
Senator, 26th District