The talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are too important for dirty tricks and childish one-upmanship, Paddy Crumlin, President of International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) said reacting to PMA’s press attacks against ILWU.
Namely, earlier this month, PMA accused the ILWU of orchestrating slowdowns at the Pacific Northwest ports of Seattle and Tacoma, along with those at Los Angels and Long Beach.
The talks, launched in May covering 29 ports on US West Coast , are conducted under a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to negotiate around the table, not in the media, ITF said.
Paddy Crumlin, ITF President and Chair of its dockers’ section, commented: “These negotiations are massively significant, including to US trade. The ILWU understands and respects that. It seems the PMA doesn’t.”
“The association’s recent tactics are not just embarrassing, they’re potentially dangerous. It needs to stop, get its act together and commit to these talks. Along the way it can also address the backlog in the ports caused by its inexplicable chassis decisions, kill the attempts to deflect the blame for them, and bury any attempts to penalise shipping lines via surcharges for the PMA’s own mismanagement.”
Representatives of worldwide dockworkers’ unions pledged their support for the ILWU in the West Coast contract talks during their meeting in London, held on Wednesday, November 19th.
“We all support a negotiated and fair resolution to these contract talks. We are calling on the PMA to prove that it is committed to that same aim,” Crummlin said.
Press Release; Image: MUA