ILWU, PMA strike tentative agreement

ILWU, PMA agree on provisional West Coast Waterfront Contract

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have announced a tentative agreement on a new six-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports.

This announcement came on 14 June.

The parties have also announced that they will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time, as it is subject to ratification by both parties. 

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that recognises the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce in keeping our ports operating,” said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Willie Adams in a joint statement.

“We are also pleased to turn our full attention back to the operation of the West Coast Ports,” the statement followed.

The deal was reached with assistance from acting US Secretary of Labor, Julie Su.

While the White House quelled all concerted attempts from shipping carriers and associations to intervene in the negotiations, the Biden Administration deployed Su to oversee any contractual developments.

As the White House aimed to respect and the collective bargaining process between the parties, Su’s involvement as a government representative was limited to merely encouraging the PMA and ILWU “to stay at the table and reach an agreement,” according to Julie McClain Downey, Assistant Labor Secretary for Public Affairs.

This deal comes after fruitless negotiations spanned for over a year between the PMA and ILWU, having begun in May 2022, leading to a plethora of strikes and operational disturbances among major West Coast ports.

This subsequently imposed severe supply chain issues throughout the US, as well as transshipment delays.

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