West Coast Dockworkers and Employers Reach Tentative Labor Agreement

It is being reported that the West Coast dockworkers and employers have reached a tentative agreement, potentially ending months of labor issues which have threatened the US economy and beyond.

According to the LA Times, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents shipping lines and terminal workers, have set a new six-year agreement, pending ratification, which will cover all 29 West Coast ports.

The ILWU and PMA have been negotiating a new contract since May, 2022. PMA represents 22,000 workers.

Ports and workers were locked in an unofficial dispute over wages, safety, automation and pension benefits. Both sides continued working without a ratified contract; however, in recent weeks, West Coast port terminals at the Port of Long Beach, California have been experiencing occasional closures due to sporadic shutdowns and lockouts.

The dispute has put the nation’s economy on edge as anxious retailers, manufacturers and other importers rely heavily on these ports. The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports combined handle nearly 40% of U.S. imports from Asia.

“If the agreement stands, the stability of the Trans-Pacific trade line will strengthen and put our customers and consumers across the US and the globe at ease,” said Tom Peacock, President of Worldwide Logistics Group.

The details of the agreement have not been made, but the ILWU and PMA released a joint statement announcement that a deal was reached Wednesday night. The deal must still be ratified by members of both groups.

Worldwide Logistics Group is still encouraging customers to continue with any plans in place and the company will continue to report back any changes, but this is certainly good news for importers.

Please contact your Worldwide Logistics Group representative with any questions or for additional information.