PMA, ILWU Negotiations Begin on Positive Note

Contract negotiators between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association began yesterday on an upbeat note.

“Both sides said they expect cargo to keep moving until an agreement is reached,” the ILWU and the employers association that represents shipping lines and terminal operators said in a joint statement.

The current six-year contract expires at midnight June 30, and negotiators will meet daily in San Francisco until a contract is reached, the statement read. Negotiations will alternate each week between the headquarters of the ILWU and the PMA.

The union seeks to negotiate a “fair agreement that protects the good jobs and benefits that support thousands of families and dozens of communities” on the West Coast, said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath.

PMA President Jim McKenna noted that West Coast ports in recent years have lost “significant market share” to ports in Canada and Mexico and to other U.S. ports. Employers seek to negotiate a contract that powers jobs and economic growth and protects the West Coast’s standing as the “gateway of choice for goods sent to and from Asia,” McKenna said.

 

-Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | May 13, 2014 9:12AM EDT

The Journal of Commerce

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