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West Coast Dock Workers Agree to Six-Year Contract

09/11/2023

According to Reuters, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has announced that their 22,000 members working in 29 West Coast ports have ratified a six-year contract by a 75 percent majority.  The agreement will be retroactive from July 1st, 2022 and will terminate on July 1st, 2028.  Concessions granted to workers include a 30 percent pay increase over the proximal six years and a COVID19 pandemic bonus.  During June, the leadership of the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, representing employers agreed on the provisional contract after extensive negotiations extending over a year.

 

A brief strike in April resulted in diversion of shipments to Gulf and East Coast ports that have gained volume at the expense of major points of entry along the Pacific Coast.  This has created concern over job security and the long-term viability of all West Coast ports.  The main factor currently benefitting West Coast ports is the drought in Panama that has added to cost due to restricted volume and speed of transit through the Panama Canal.