ILWU, PMA Tentatively Agree on ‘Key Issues’ as Talks Continue

Image: Pacific Maritime Association.
Image: International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Certain “key issues” have been tentatively agreed upon by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union representing West Coast dockworkers and their employers, represented by the Pacific Maritime Association, the union announced April 20.

Both sides have agreed not to publicly disclose the terms of the tentative agreements while negotiations for a new contract are ongoing.

This is the first public sign of progress in contract negotiations since last July, when the ILWU and PMA announced a tentative agreement on the maintenance of health benefits. 

“Talks are continuing on an ongoing basis until an agreement is reached,” the union said April 20. 

For nearly a year, both sides have been negotiating a new pact that covers over 22,000 longshore workers at 29 seaports along the U.S. West Coast. The last agreement ended July 1 and the union and PMA have been meeting since May 10 in San Francisco to hammer out a new pact.

The April 20 announcement comes after criticism from PMA over what they say has been a series of labor disruptions at terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

PMA accused ILWU Local 13 of withholding labor and not following a contract provision that gives employers the right to stagger shifts during meal breaks so cargo flow would not be interrupted, moves that slowed operations at L.A. and Long Beach, the country’s busiest seaport complex.

By Karen Robes Meeks