Posted on May 24, 2023
U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Nanette Barragán (CA-44) are leading West Coast members of Congress in applauding the Biden Administration and Department of Labor for closely monitoring the process of contract negotiations for International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers, consistently encouraging good faith bargaining, and respecting the effectiveness of and right to collectively bargain.
“The Port of Seattle in my district is a major economic engine, employing more than 2,000 people,” said Rep. Jayapal. “Throughout the pandemic, as our economy nearly came to a halt, our ports and the workers who run them kept our city, our state, and our country moving. I am grateful to see the ILWU working to get these essential workers the pay and benefits they deserve – and I applaud the Biden Administration for taking these negotiations seriously and ensuring that bargaining is done in good faith.”
“My district includes the busiest port in the Western Hemisphere – the Port of Los Angeles. The goods and essentials moved through this seaport impact every Congressional District across the country, and that is made possible by the resilient men and women of the ILWU,” said Rep. Barragán. “Throughout the pandemic and continued supply chain disruptions, the ILWU have moved record-setting cargo volumes, and marine terminal operators continue to profit. The ongoing contract negotiations show promise for a fair agreement that values the contributions of these essential workers. I appreciate the Biden Administration’s respect for the right to collectively bargain and leadership to promote good faith bargaining between the parties as they come to an agreement on a contract that respects and protects good union jobs, strengthens the supply chain, and supports the American people.”
The ILWU is currently negotiating contracts with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) on behalf of 22,000 longshore workers at 29 ports across the West Coast, pushing for the maintenance of health benefits among other asks.
The letter was also signed by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), John Garamendi (CA-08), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Katie Porter (CA-47), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Adam Smith (WA-09), and Marilyn Strickland (WA-10).
The full text of the letter can be found here.