West Coast port labor talks
ILWU, PMA reach tentative deal on ‘certain key issues’
Excerpted from SupplyChainDive.com
Contract talks remain ongoing as the two sides near the one-year mark since negotiations began.
Published April 20, 2023
Edwin Lopez, Managing Editor
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said in a press release Thursday negotiators had reached a tentative deal on “certain key issues” with the Pacific Maritime Association.
The longshore union did not specify which issues the new tentative agreements cover and declined to share further comments.
The news marks the first deal publicly announced since July 26, when the two sides said they had reached a tentative agreement on the maintenance of health benefits. Prior to the start of talks in May, port employers had said continuing to offer longshore workers with “world-class wages and benefits” was one of five principles guiding the PMA in contract talks.
Other principles include: avoiding work disruptions; prioritizing safety and training; “modernizing” terminals through densification and automation; and preparing to meet “stringent” environmental regulations, according to the PMA website.
The two parties began negotiating a new master contract in May 2022. Longshore workers and port terminals have been operating without an active contract since the old working agreement expired last July. Contract negotiations cover more than 22,000 longshore workers at 29 ports across the U.S. West Coast.
The ILWU reiterated “talks are continuing on an ongoing basis until an agreement is reached,” in its Thursday morning press release. The union had said the two sides were “hopeful of reaching a deal soon” in February.