The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold on the International Longshoremans Association (ILA) vote approving a new, long-term master labor contract covering port terminal operations along the East and Gulf Coast ports:

Todays vote ratifying a new, long-term master labor contract is welcomed news to the nations retailers, who have been on pins-and-needles for the past year due to the possibility of a supply chain disruption along the 14 East and Gulf Coast container ports.

The ILA and United States Maritime Alliance should be commended for reaching todays pinnacle vote, and doing so without engaging in any disruption, stoppage, lockout or strike.

The retail industry would also like to recognize the dedication of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the hard work of FMCS Director George Cohen and his team of negotiators, who managed to keep both sides at the table to hammer out this deal.

The nations ports are our economic lifeline to the world. Todays vote will bring much-needed certainty and efficiency to East and Gulf Coast port operations and secure the United States position in the global supply chain.

Supply chain stakeholders, both importers and exporters-from agriculture and manufacturing to retailing and wholesaling-applaud todays vote.