West Coast Port Labor Contract — July 1 Expiration Looms
This Friday, July 1, the current West Coast port labor contract expires. On June 14, the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) broke their media blackout with a joint statement saying negotiations continue in good faith but will not be completed by the July 1 expiration of the current contract but “Cargo operations continue beyond the expiration of the contract. Neither party is preparing for a strike or a lockout, contrary to speculation in news reports. The parties remain focused on and committed to reaching an agreement.” However, the two sides did not agree to extend the current contract until a new agreement is reached. TGA is working with others on a multi-industry letter pushing for an indefinite extension of the current contract until a new deal is reached. Members of Congress also continue to weigh in. These efforts build on the June 8 TGA letter urging President Biden to engage in the West Coast port labor negotiations. Many believe the negotiations will turn on the issues of pay and the future of automation at West Coast ports.