West Coast Employers and Longshoremen will Discuss Contract Extension
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 11, 2016) – More than 100 delegates from 30 West Coast ports from San Diego, CA to Bellingham, WA, who were elected by rank and file members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), convened this week to consider an employer request to discuss the possibility of an extension to the 2014-2019 collective bargaining agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).
By majority vote on Thursday, delegates voted to enter into discussions with representatives of PMA regarding the concept of a contract extension and report back to the membership.
The caucus made a tough decision under current circumstances amid a wide range of concerns and opposing views on how to respond to PMA’s request,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “This is a directive to go and have discussions with the PMA and report back to the membership, and we’ll do just that, with the wellbeing of the rank and file, our communities, and the nation in mind.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Coast Longshore Division represents approximately 20,000 longshore workers on the West Coast of the United States.
According to Chris Dupin with American Shipper,
Jon Gold, vice president of supply chain and customers policy for the National Retail Federation (NRF) told American Shipper, “We applaud the ILWU and their delegates for agreeing to begin discussions on the concept of a contract extension. We strongly believe starting the discussions early will benefit all parties and stakeholders. We know there will be difficult issues that need to be discussed and resolved, but our hope is that early negotiations can provide a new path forward that will avoid the disruption issues that occurred during the last set of negotiations.
Bill Mongelluzzo of the Journal of Commerce mentions that PMA President James McKenna said that discussions will probably begin in the next 30-60 days and the meeting will “discuss a contract extension, period.”