The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have finally reached an agreement on a new six-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports, bringing to an end the US West Coast Port disruptions and averting the danger that the on-going conflict between the two parties could cost to the US economy enormously.
The deal was reached with assistance from Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su, the PMA said yesterday. The parties will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties.
The labour dispute had threatened to disrupt the busy shipping period as retailers prepared to stock up for the holiday season.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that recognizes the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce in keeping our ports operating,” said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Willie Adams in a joint statement. “We are also pleased to turn our full attention back to the operation of the West Coast Ports.”
The deal marks the Biden administration’s second intervention to keep cargo flowing at ports on the US west coast.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the news of a tentative agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association should be welcomed by every Angeleno and every American.
“This is a win for the working people of our City — and I want to give special recognition to acting United States Secretary of Labor Julie Su, President of ILWU Local 13 Gary Herrera and Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka,” the Mayor said.
About 40% of West Coast imports come through the Port of Los Angeles, which generates 1 in 15 jobs in Los Angeles.
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka commented on the outcome of the negotiations mentioning that the tentative agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association brings the stability and confidence that customers have been seeking.
“We’re grateful to Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su, ILWU International President Willie Adams and PMA President James McKenna for their leadership and resolve,” Gene Seroka added.