ILWU likely to approve 3-year contract extension

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) appears to be closing in on a three-year contract extension with its terminal operator employers which would ensure dockworker stability up and down the U.S. West Coast  
 
The ILWU said in a statement Friday afternoon it has completed voting on a proposed extension to its existing collective bargaining agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), and early indications are that the extension will be approved by a 67 percent majority. The union will announce the official results of the vote on Aug. 4.
  
The current ILWU-PMA labor deal which was marked by prolonged and contentious negotiations is scheduled to expire on July 1, 2019.  At the urging of the trade community the two sides agreed in September 2016 to come to the negotiating table to "discuss the concept of a contract extension."
 
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.  After much discussion and debate over the course of the last year, ILWU members made the final decision to extend the contract for three years.
 
This agreement, which would ensure west coast labor stability through 2022, will be great news for the wide range of players in the maritime industry, and the U.S. economy.
 
The contract extension puts the spotlight on the International Longshore Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), the East Coast counterparts to the ILWU and PMA, respectively, to get a new deal done before their existing agreement expires in September 2018. The ILA and USMX held informal contract discussions in February that both sides said were “productive and fruitful.”
(Source: American Shipper)
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