In the never-ending dispute over contract negotiations, the US West Coast is witnessing disruptions in cargo operations across major ports. The talks are ongoing between the PMA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), as both sides negotiate the collective bargaining agreement.

The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents terminal operators at West Coast ports, said on Friday that “the ILWU is staging concerted and disruptive work actions that have effectively shut down operations at some marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Union is also staging similar work actions that have shut down or severely impacted terminal operations at the Ports of Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Hueneme.”

However ILWU international president Willie Adams in a statement said talks are ongoing. The labour talks between the PMA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) continue, as both sides negotiate the collective bargaining agreement.

“Any reports that negotiations have broken down are false,” stated International President Willie Adams, “We are getting there but it’s important to understand that West Coast dockworkers kept the economy going during the pandemic and lost their lives doing so. We aren’t going to settle for an economic package that doesn’t recognize the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce that lifted the shipping industry to record profits.”

The collective bargaining agreement that the ILWU and PMA are negotiating covers more than 22,000 longshore workers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports.  The previous agreement expired on July 1, 2022, and talks began on May 10, 2022, as ILWU reports in an announcement on twitter.

The ILWU says both parties “continue to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement and are committed to reaching an agreement.”

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) represents over 70 multi-national ocean carriers and maritime companies in contract negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). 

ILWU claims that “from pre-pandemic levels through 2022, the percentage of ILWU wages and benefits continued to drop compared to PMA rising revenues,” adding that it is committed to bargaining a contract that is “fair and equitable, including wages and benefits that reflect the dedication of the ILWU workforce and its contributions to the shipping industry’s success.”

Mario Cordero, the Executive Director of Port of Long Beach issued a statement in June 2, 2023 mentioning that “all container terminals at the Port of Long Beach remain open. As we monitor terminal activity, we urge the PMA and ILWU to continue negotiating in good faith toward a fair agreement.”

Mario Cordero added that “the national economy relies on an outcome that keeps goods moving through the San Pedro Bay ports, the most important gateway for trans-Pacific trade. We are optimistic our waterfront workforce and their employers will resolve their differences quickly.”