The dispute over contract negotiations is finally ending after many disruptions in cargo operations across major ports in the US West Coast and talks between the union ILWU and the PMA which represents the terminal operators at West Coast ports.

US West Coast dockworkers have voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement reached in June with employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) voted 75% in favor of approving the new 6-year agreement that will expire on July 1, 2028.

The voting results were certified yesterday by the ILWU’s Coast Balloting Committee, which was chosen by Coast Longshore Division Caucus delegates elected from each of the 29 West Coast ports.

“The negotiations for this contract were protracted and challenging,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams. “I am grateful to our rank and file for their strength, to our Negotiating Committee for their vision and tenacity, and to those that supported giving the ILWU and PMA the space that we needed to get to this result.”

The ILWU said the new agreement protects good-paying jobs in 29 West Coast port communities, maintains health benefits, and improves wages, pensions and safety protections.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Coast Longshore Division represents approximately 20,000 longshore and clerk workers on the West Coast of the United States.

The deal has already been approved by PMA members. The contract is retroactive to July 1, 2022 and runs through July 1, 2028.

PMA president and chief executive Jim McKenna issued the following statement: “This contract provides an important framework for the hard work ahead to overcome new competitive challenges and to continue to position the West Coast ports as destinations of choice for shippers worldwide. From San Diego to Bellingham, these ports have long been the primary gateways for cargo coming into and leaving the United States, and our interests are aligned in ensuring they can effectively, and efficiently, handle the capacity growth that drives economies and jobs.’’