US President Barack Obama on Saturday asked Labor Secretary Tom Perez to bolster the talks between the union of dockworkers that have led to severe disruptions in service at the ports along the America’s West Coast.
The White House said on Saturday that the President has directed Labor Secretary to travel to California over concerns of the economic consequences in case the issue is not resolved quickly.
“The President has directed his Secretary of Labor to visit California and meet the parties urging them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table,” Eric Schultz, spokesperson of White House, said in a statement.
“The negotiations over the functioning of the West Coast Ports have been taking place for months with the administration urging the parties to resolve their differences,” Schultz added.
According to Schultz, the Labor Secretary is in contact with the parties and will keep the President about the latest updates.
The long standing labor dispute between the ship owners and the longshoremen has been serious threats on shut down of 29 ports in the West Coast.
The last contract of the workers had expired in July last year and since then both sides have been working without any agreement.
The ongoing labor dispute broke in the fall when the shipping owners accused the union workers of engaged in the practice of slowing down on the job, just part of a negotiating tactic. However, the allegations were turned down by the local union.