West Coast Port Labor Contract Negotiations — Two Sides Issue Joint Statement
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. However, “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.” On June 14, the ILWU also laid out their concerns in the negotiations. On June 8, TGA joined two other groups in urging President Biden to engage in the West Coast port labor negotiations. Congress has also started to weigh in, with a June 8 Republican letter to President Biden and work happening on a bi-partisan Congressional letter to the ILWU and PMA. Many believe the negotiations will turn on the issues of pay and the future of automation at West Coast ports.