ILWU (LA Longshoreman Union) / PMA contract expires July 1 , 2014

Please take note that the contract between the ILWU (Los Angeles Longshoreman’s Union) and the PMA ( Pacific Maritime Association) which represents the ocean carriers, is set to expire July 1, 2014.

Issues in contention include ; healthcare; wages; pension language, jurisdiction, among others.

Discussions on a preliminary basis have begun, but won’t proceed in earnest until mid-April.

If they don’t come to an agreement, there is a good chance of at least a slowdown in the ports, if not stop-work actions , and maybe an LA / Long Beach dock strike for a period of time.

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will give you regular updates. But shippers are beginning to plan alternatives in dealing with the possible delays and interruption of service.

Alternatives include: Moving up deliveries of product from the origin factories and bolstering inventories; Book earlier than usual and allow more time for delays in the supply chain. Utilizing Vancouver for IPI (inland destined) cargo . But Vancouver / Prince Rupert ports will reach capacity quickly , so how what kind of alternative this will be as we get into early June is in question as the vessels / ports overload.

Utilize East Coast and Gulf ports for IPI / West Coast local cargo that normally move over LA and Long Beach Ports.

We will be reaching out to you shortly with further updates and as well to further exploring contingency strategies.

CN Obtains Injunction Against Striking Vancouver Truckers

CN Obtains Injunction Against Striking Vancouver Truckers

Canadian National Railway today obtained an injunction against striking union and non-union truck groups that will prevent their drivers from blocking access to the railroad’s intermodal terminal serving Port Metro Vancouver.

British Columbia Supreme Court Judge George Macintosh granted the injunction prohibiting United Truckers Association and Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers Association from obstructing people or vehicles seeking access to the Surrey, British Columbia, terminal. Under the injuction, truck drivers and others can assemble outside the terminal. CN spokesman Jim Feeney said the order is essential for the railroad to serve its customers.

CN earlier this week told forest product shippers that the truck strike at the port was preventing its employees from taking all of their lumber and pulp carload shipments for transloading into containers. Following the issuance of an embargo on rails shipments for transload on March 9, the Class I railroad granted exemptions to some facilities that still have capacity and are moving freight.

The trucking groups are now mulling over a 14-point plan that the provincial government and port authorities hope will end the two-week strike. The proposed revision of the truck licensing system at Canada’s largest port would only take effect if union and non-union drivers end the strike.

JOC 03.17.2014


Vancouver Union Drayage Drivers Set to Strike


Vancouver Union Drayage Drivers Set to Strike

Mark Szakonyi, Senior Editor | Mar 08, 2014

Unionized truckers today rejected a tentative deal with Port Metro Vancouver, paving the way for a strike on March 10.

“Our members have spoken: the deal was too little, too late,” Paul Johal, president of Unifor-Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association, said in a statement.

The heightened truck labor volatility at the port could spur some shippers to shift less or none of their U.S.-bound cargo through the port in the coming months. Some shippers have been looking to shift some of their cargo though Vancouver and the port of Prince Rupert, as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers engage in tough negotiations on a new labor contract. The U.S. arm of the ILWU is negotiating a contract to replace the current one, which expires June 30. Port Metro Vancouver said the “current disruption” affects roughly $885 million worth of cargo weekly.

Shippers had hoped that a strike would be averted after Vince Ready, a government-appointed mediator, on March 6 helped the port reach a tentative deal with union and non-union driver groups. Under the agreement, non-union port truck drivers could have been back at the terminals as soon as March 10.

Union truck drivers last weekend issued a 72-hour strike notice, and more than 1,000 non-union truck drivers went on strike Feb. 26, as frustration over long truck lines at marine terminals hit a boiling point. Unifor-VCTA says the long wait times cost drviers money and undercutting of rates has violated previous contract negotiations. The provincial government of British Columbia is tasked with enforcing rates, while “unions are responsible for resolving rate-undercutting allegations within their own membership,” said Port Metro Vancouver in a statement.

Of the drayage trucks tracked via GPS, 63 percent wait less than one hour at port terminals, according to Port Metro Vancouver. The data also found that less than 5 percent of tracked drivers wait more than two hours at terminals. Aside from collecting more data via GPS tracking on drayage trucks, the port, along with industry associations and terminal operators, has looked at increasing regular off-hour gates for weekend and evening traffic.

But that work doesn’t appear to be enough for the union.

“We’ve warned the government for years how bad the conditions are,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s British Columbia area director, in a statement. “We welcome the involvement of Vince Ready, but the feedback I’ve gotten is that our members need to see something far more immediate to improve their economic position.”