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West Coast negotiations soon to end

Posted on February 27, 2023

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have announced that negotiations are still ongoing and parties are hopeful to reach an agreement soon.

Talks for a new collective bargaining agreement began in May 2022 and cover more than 22,000 dockworkers at 29 US West Coast ports.

While the parties have reached a tentative agreement on some key issues, including health benefits, they are still working to resolve remaining issues.

The ILWU and PMA have agreed not to discuss negotiations in the media as collective bargaining continues, and a recent joint statement warns that news articles claiming to know what is happening at the bargaining table are “speculative at best.”

The parties remain committed to reaching a deal soon and are continuing talks on an ongoing basis until an agreement is reached.

According to Port of Los Angeles Chief Executive Gene Seroka, bargaining negotiations are likely to produce a deal by springtime this year.

In an interview from last December 2022, Seroka said parties were going towards the “far edge of negotiations” and will likely produce a deal in about February or March.

West Coast ports are just coming out of a slowdown in cargo operations as a result of congestion and uncertainty pertaining ongoing bargaining.

This has, in turn, favoured ports on the East Coast which have registered high peaks in container volumes highlighting a potential power shift.


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