A press release by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that a preliminary agreement had been reached with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) on some crucial matters. However, negotiations are still ongoing. In a brief statement, the ILWU said that talks would continue until a final agreement is reached.
The PMA acknowledged the progress in the negotiations but criticized the ILWU for its job actions at the Ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach. In a statement, the PMA said that although substantial progress has been made in the coastwise contract negotiations, several key issues remain unresolved. The ILWU’s Local 13 has been conducting work actions that disrupt operations at critical marine terminals. The union is deliberately carrying out unscheduled inspections, which are not routine and disrupt terminal operations.
Reports indicate that the Local 13’s campaign of job actions has resulted in a slowdown of cargo handling at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for three consecutive weeks. Recent actions have been aimed at automated marine terminals.
Sources say that the ILWU’s Local 13 has red-tagged cranes at about six of the 12 container terminals in Los Angeles-Long Beach, citing them as being unsafe. This action has resulted in the shutdown of the equipment until inspections can be conducted, leading to disruptions in cargo handling. Terminals were forced to halt operations for periods ranging from an eight-hour work shift to an entire day. Furthermore, Local 13 continues to delay the dispatch of workers each day to most of the terminals in the port complex.
Labor negotiations between the ILWU and PMA began on May 10th of the previous year, and the previous contract expired on July 1st.
Source: Journal of Commerce