West Coast longshore workers at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington have officially ratified a three-year contract extension with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), the International Longshore & Warehouse Union’s (ILWU) Coast Balloting Committee confirmed.
As informed, the committee reviewed balloting results from all longshore local unions and confirmed a tally showing that 67% of members voted in favor of the extension.
While the current agreement was set to expire on July 1, 2019, the newly approved three-year pact will extend the expiration to July 1, 2022.
The contract extension is expected to raise wages, maintain health benefits, and increase pensions from 2019-2022.
The results followed a year-long debate and democratic decision-making process which allowed every registered longshore worker from Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego, California, to express their views and cast a ballot.
“The rank-and-file membership has made their decision and expressed a clear choice,” Robert McEllrath, ILWU International President, commented.
“During the past year, we saw a healthy debate and heard different points of view, with concerns raised by all sides. The democratic process allowed us to make a difficult decision and arrive at the best choice under the circumstances,” McEllrath added.
ILWU’s Coast Longshore Division represents approximately 20,000 longshore workers on the West Coast of the United States.