Port of Bellingham Launching Terminal Modernization Project

Port of Bellingham Launching Terminal Modernization Project

A new and improved Bellingham Shipping Terminal is set to open this spring. The Port of Bellingham announced Feb. 1 that it is moving forward on a $27.5 million effort to modernize the shipping terminal. The project involves removing 22,000 cubic yards of legacy contamination from the Whatcom Waterway, dredging the navigation channel from minus-26 feet to minus-35 feet for better ship access, installing a modern stormwater system and bolstering the main dock by removing and replacing 140 feet of aging, damaged wharf structure, the port said. “This investment is part of an ongoing effort started many years ago to…
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ILWU Ratifies Labor Contract

ILWU Ratifies Labor Contract

More than a year after their labor contract expired, thousands of U.S. West Coast longshore workers now have a new work agreement. About 75% of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) members approved the ratification of a new six-year agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents their employers, the union announced Aug. 31. The union’s Coast Balloting Committee, which was selected from representatives of all 29 U.S. West Coast ports by the Coast Longshore Division Caucus, certified the results of the vote. The new contract, which retroactively spans from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2028, covers about 20,000…
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B.C. Longshore Workers Approve New Contract

B.C. Longshore Workers Approve New Contract

After a second vote, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada members have agreed to accept a labor contract negotiated between union leadership and the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association, the ILWU revealed Aug. 4. The BCMEA and ILWU Canada had originally agreed to a deal on July 13, but rank and file members voted the proposal down on July 28, thereby putting the agreement in jeopardy. But on Aug. 2, leaders of ILWU Canada recommended that its 7,400 members approve the tentative new deal and during the Aug. 3-4 tally, about 75% of members voted to ratify the contract, according…
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Olvera Jr. Elected Long Beach Harbor Commission President

Olvera Jr. Elected Long Beach Harbor Commission President

On Aug. 14, longtime labor leader Bobby Olvera Jr. is slated to begin a one-year term as the new president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, the entity that governs the Port of Long Beach. Olvera, who previously served as board vice president, takes over for outgoing President Sharon L. Weissman. Meanwhile, Bonnie Lowenthal has been selected as vice president and Frank Colonna as board secretary. Olvera, who was appointed to the commission in 2020 and elected the board’s vice president in 2022, said it was an honor to be chosen as president by his colleagues. “We are…
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ILWU Won’t Handle Vessels Diverted from Canada to U.S. During Labor Strike

ILWU Won’t Handle Vessels Diverted from Canada to U.S. During Labor Strike

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union who work at ports in the U.S. will not work vessels that are diverted to America during the ongoing strike by ILWU Canada’s rank and file, the union’s U.S. leader has said. “The ILWU will not be unloading Canadian bound cargo in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in ILWU Canada,” ILWU U.S. President Willie Adams announced July 9. “I promise you: not one ship that leaves here (in Vancouver) will get worked on in Southern California,” ILWU Local 13 President Gary Herrera told assembled strikers on July 9. The remarks came…
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West Coast Longshore Workers, Employers Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

West Coast Longshore Workers, Employers Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

Thousands of West Coast longshore workers and their employers may soon be covered by a new six-year contract. After 13 months of negotiations that at times turned contentious, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association announced June 14 that they have come to a tentative agreement. The deal, which must be ratified by both sides, encompasses more than 22,000 employees at 29 seaports along the West Coast. Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su was instrumental in both sides reaching consensus. ILWU President Willie Adams said the union is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement…
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Labor Disruptions Continue at West Coast Ports, PMA Says

Labor Disruptions Continue at West Coast Ports, PMA Says

The organization representing maritime companies in contract talks with West Coast longshore workers is saying that some West Coast ports continue to experience “significant slowdowns” by union work actions. The union, however, is denying accusations of coordinated stoppages. The Pacific Maritime Association said June 10 that “coordinated and disruptive work actions led by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union” have shut down cargo operations at the Port of Seattle. “On the second and third shift yesterday, work slowdowns directed by ILWU officials brought ground operations at marine terminals to a halt, resulting in longshore workers being sent home. On the…
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Prison Sentence for Woman Who Sent Fake ILWU-PMA Health Plan Claims

Prison Sentence for Woman Who Sent Fake ILWU-PMA Health Plan Claims

A Los Angeles area woman who sent false claims to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union-Pacific Maritime Association (ILWU-PMA) benefit plan at the Port of Long Beach has been sentenced to 27 months in prison, City News Service reported May 23. Sara Victoria, 46, who pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and aggravated identity theft last December, will also have to pay $551,810 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Victoria, along with eight other defendants -- seven of them Port of Long Beach dockworkers -- took advantage of the union health benefit plan that covers overall chiropractic…
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ILWU, PMA Tentatively Agree on ‘Key Issues’ as Talks Continue

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

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…
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Worker Shortage Shutters LA, Long Beach Port Terminals

Worker Shortage Shutters LA, Long Beach Port Terminals

Every marine cargo terminal within the San Pedro Bay port complex was forced to temporarily close late last week due to a severe labor shortage, and the laborers and their employers have offered differing reasons as to why. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents terminal employers, said April 7 that the worker shortage was due to “a concerted action” by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union “to withhold labor” at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex the evening of April 6 and during the following day shift. According to a statement from terminal operator Maersk, ILWU Local 13 crane operators…
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