Officials representing West Coast dockworkers and their employers are expected to begin talks for a new labor contract today, May 10, in San Francisco.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the union representing over 22,000 dockworkers across 29 ports on the West Coast, and the Pacific Maritime Association, the group representing marine terminals and ocean carriers, are expected to meet daily to hammer out a new contract before the current one expires at 5 p.m. on July 1.
The PMA and ILWU have been careful not to discuss the nuances of contract talks publicly, but leaders from both sides have expressed optimism ahead of negotiations and spoke about having to work together to figure out COVID-19 pandemic protocols in order to keep cargo movement flowing.
Talks are expected to encompass safety, wages, benefits, jurisdiction and technology.
Meanwhile, retailers are being asked to ship goods early and diversify where and how they ship. The National Retail Federation recently wrote to leaders of both sides, urging them to remain at the table until an agreement is resolved and pledge to have no disruptions to ensure supply chain stability.