July 3, 2014
By Stephanie West
San Fransico, California – Negotiations for a new labor contract covering nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports is continuing. The existing, six-year coast-wide labor agreement has expired July 1st.
While there will be no contract extension, cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will not be disruped at the ports until an agreement can be reached between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU).
Both sides understand the importance of the ports to the local, regional and U.S. economies, and are mindful of the need to finalize a new coast-wide contract as soon as possible. The jobs and commerce they support are essential. Since continuing confidence in the West Coast ports are critical, disruptions to operations must be avoided.
The ILWU and forerunners have negotiated West Coast collective bargaining agreements since the 1930s. Unionizing the ports has created quality jobs for thousands of workers. The ILWU has consistently negotiated contracts that ensure members are provided job security, fair wages, pensions and health benefits.