US West Coast ports secure labour deal to 2022
Longshore workers at 29 US west coast ports have ratified a three-year contract extension to secure better pay and benefits.
In a deal made with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers in California, Oregon and Washington secured an extension to 1 July 2022 which will raise wages, maintain health benefits, and increase pensions from 2019-2022.
ILWU’s international president, Robert McEllrath, said: “The rank-and-file membership has made their decision and expressed a clear choice.
“During the past year we saw a healthy debate and heard different points of view, with concerns raised by all sides.
“The democratic process allowed us to make a difficult decision and arrive at the best choice under the circumstances.”
Majority in favour
The current agreement was set to expire on 1 July 2019 and 67% of ILWU members voted in favour of the extension, the ILWU’s Coast Balloting Committee confirmed.
“The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s vote to extend their contract by three years helps sustain the momentum building in our supply chain as we continue to focus on delivering innovation, value and efficiency for the US importers and exporters,” said Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka.
“The certainty that comes with this contract extension is great news for all of Southern California, where one in nine jobs in the five-county region are connected to the San Pedro Bay port complex.”
PMA president and CEO, James McKenna, stated: “This first-of-its-kind contract extension is great news for the maritime industry and the nation, setting the stage for reliable and productive cargo operations for years to come.
“This agreement also continues to provide ILWU workers with a generous wage and benefits package during a time of great change in the global maritime business.
“With this agreement in hand, PMA looks forward to working with the ILWU to bolster the West Coast waterfront’s standing as a leader both nationally and globally.”
The deal follows a year-long debate between stakeholders at the union, which represents approximately 20,000 longshore workers on the West Coast.
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