The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have agreed to federal mediation under the auspices of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliations Service, to help settle the ongoing contract dispute between the West Coast dockworkers and their employers.
Back in December, PMA publicly asked for federal mediation in the eight-month-long contract dispute, with ILWU making no official request.
However, according to Allison Beck, Acting Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, FMCS received ”a joint request for assistance from the parties.”
”We are prepared and ready to render prompt assistance. Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, a senior FMCS mediator with extensive collective bargaining experience in this industry, has been assigned to help the parties bring these important negotiations to a mutually acceptable resolution,” said Beck.
The news of the involvement of a federal mediator comes days after PMA accused ILWU of withholding skilled work force from Southern California’s ports.