USA WEST COAST PORTS UPDATE
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) members followed management’s lead and signed on to a new labour contract for the US west coast ports last Friday, effectively rubber-stamping the end of the dispute that congested US West Coast ports for months.
Although the tentative deal was agreed in February and work resumed as normal in March, allowing the gradual clearing of container and cargo backlogs, the official seal was only put on the end of the action last week.
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) employers signed off on it on Wednesday.
In signing the deal ILWU members have ratified a five-year contract governing pay and work rules at 29 US west coast ports, from California to Washington state, including the major hubs of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The new contract, is retroactive to July 2014 and runs until June 30, 2019
The contract provides for some 20,000 jobs and will include pay and pension increases for dockworkers. It also alters the arbitration system for labour-management disputes. Both sides expressed hope that the latter clause would make actions such as the recent ones much less likely to happen.
Most of the congestion has now been cleared, though some minor delays remain due to chassis supply and truck waiting times.