The US National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the US National Retail Federation (NRF) have managed to set a framework for the debate on the effects of lockouts and strikes in US ports on the country’s economy after conducting a study on this particular economic topic. According to their calculations, work stoppage costs the US economy as much as 2.5 billion dollars a day. It should be noted that the study had in view work stoppage periods of 5, 10 and 20 days respectively. According to other studies, however, work stoppage costs only reach as high as 1 or 2 billion dollars a day. In the end, though, all studies agree upon one particular aspect, namely that the longer the lockouts and strikes in US ports last, the higher are the costs on the economy.
All ports on the West Coast were closed for two days recently after the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) signed an exclusive contract with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and then terminated it out on account of repeated and extended slowdowns being caused by the latter. The slowdowns and congestion that resulted from this two-day work stoppage period led to overall costs of nearly 5 billion dollars.
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