West Coast port operator Pacific Maritime Association said it will temporarily suspend vessel operations on Thursday as well as Saturday through Monday amid stalled contract talks with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Yard, gate and rail operations will continue at terminal operators' discretion, it said in a statement Wednesday. Thursday is Lincoln's birthday and Monday is Presidents Day. PMA said weekend and holiday pay rates command a premium of at least 50% over basic longshore wage rate, meaning it would have to pay on those days between $54 to $75 per hour for longshore workers and clerks and between $77 and $92 per hour for foremen. PMA said it won't conduct vessel operations on those dates and pay full shifts amid work slowdown that it said has "severely diminished productivity." The protracted negotiations between the two parties have put many stakeholders including retailers, manufacturers as well as farmers on edge. See related story.
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