3-year contract extension is expected to be approved by USWC dock workers union


INTERNATIONAL Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has voted on a proposed extension to its existing collective bargaining agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)


Early indications suggest that the extension will be approved by a 67 percent majority, meaning a three-year contract extension with the terminal operator employers could be finalized. The ILWU, which represents dockworkers on the US west coast, will announce the official results of the vote on August 4. 2017


The current ILWU-PMA labor deal, which was struck in 2015 after a lengthy and contentious negotiation that left many west coast ports highly congested and the supply chains of those that depended on them in disarray, was scheduled to expire on July 1, 2019.


Following the last round of contract negotiations, trade organizations representing shippers and transportation providers began urging ILWU president Robert McEllrath and PMA chairman and CEO James McKenna to begin early discussions on either a contract extension or a new contract.


The ILWU said its members have spent the last year debating the proposed contract extension, which it says will raise wages, maintain health benefits, and increase pensions for dockworkers.