Today Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), led a group of his Washington colleagues in urging Totem Ocean Trailer Express Inc., the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union to come to agreement over the cargo bound for Alaska, which is currently docked at the Port of Tacoma.  

The letter, addressed to Mr. Bob Magee, President and CEO of Totem Ocean Trailer Express follows:

“We are writing today to express our concern regarding the labor negotiations between Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU).  We are hopeful that we can work together and find a solution to the immediate problem of Alaska cargo.

“We understand that Totem is not a member of the PMA and therefore not subject to the lockout order; however, Stevedoring Services of America, which provides contract services to you, is a PMA member and therefore subject to the lockout.

“The ILWU has informed us that they are willing to continue loading and unloading cargo for Alaska on your vessels.  Not only would this be critical for Alaska consumers, who rely on cargo shipped from the west coast ports for groceries and other essential goods, but it is also essential for our many military bases in Alaska.  

“We request that you work directly with the ILWU to fulfill your duties to the consumers and men and women in uniform in Alaska.  Due to the fact that this matter is extremely urgent, please respond to us as soon as possible.”

Click here to view the full text of the letter.