August 2014 Newsflash!
Progress Cited in ILWU / PMA Negotiations
Almost two months past the contractual deadline progress is cited in ILWU and PMA negotiations offering hope that a new master contract is close to completion. Following is an official press release as issued by the PMA.
PMA and ILWU Update on Contract Talks:
Tentative Agreement Reached on Health Benefits
Negotiations Continue on Other Issues
(August 26, 2014, SAN FRANCISCO, CA ) – The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced today that they have reached a tentative agreement on terms for health benefits, subject to agreement on the other issues in the negotiations. The parties have agreed not to discuss the terms of this tentative agreement as negotiations continue.
Maintenance of health benefits (MOB) is an important part of the contract being negotiated between employers represented by the PMA and workers represented by the ILWU.
The contract being negotiated covers nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports. The previous agreement expired at 5 p.m. on July 1, 2014. Talks began on May 12 and are continuing.
J.W. Allen & Company Office Closure
Our office will be closed on Monday September 1st in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Our office will re-open Tuesday morning September 2nd at 8:30 am.
If you require urgent assistance during our closure, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page of our website and look under ‘Emergency Contacts’ for emergency contact information.
News & Notes:
• Import volumes at major U.S. ports are expected to hit record volumes as retailers concerned about possible labor discord import holiday merchandise early. 2014 forecasts are calling for a total of 17.1 million TEU’s, a 5.2% increase in TEU import volumes over 2013.
• Transpacific Stabilization Agreement ocean carriers are raising Asia – U.S. freight rates by a minimum of $600 usd per 40′ container citing strong cargo demand and high vessel utilization levels. A list of TSA carriers is available at http://www.tsacarriers.org/members.html.
• Panama Canal Authorities are considering another expansion project although the present expansion project has been wrought with delays and cost overruns. Although a decision could take years to reach, Canal officials are working to determine if an additional set of locks designed to accommodate the growing class of “Triple E” vessels is required and feasible
• While the influx of newer vessels has resulted in an overall reduction in the amount of vessels on the water, overall container (TEU) capacity continues to increase at a rate of approximately 6% per year.
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”
Happy Labor Day from the J.W. Allen & Company Family