Talks on a new contract for West Coast dockworkers seem to have moved forward as agreement on one of key issues has been reached.
Namely, a tentative deal has been made on chassis repair and maintenance issue allowing the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to assume control of chassis repair jobs.
The deal is expected to further facilitate hammering out of a final contract.
“A tentative agreement was reached on the chassis topic, and we are hopeful that this will allow us to move toward conclusion of an full agreement in the near term. However, the slowdowns continue at the ports, as they have for months,” Spokesperson for Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) Steve Getzug told World Maritime News.
The breakthrough agreement between ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) is said to have been reached during more intensified talks over the weekend that continued into Monday.
A federal mediator has joined the marathon-long discussions which have been ongoing for eight months without a concrete result.
To date, the ILWU and PMA have reached tentative agreements on health care and increases to pay guarantees.
That tentative agreement provides fully employer-paid health care benefits valued at USD 35,000 per worker annually. PMA also has proposed pay increases and pension enhancements. There are no takeaways in the PMA proposal.
PMA warned earlier in January that the US West Coast port operations were approaching complete gridlock which may result in shutdown of ports.
Neither PMA nor ILWU have yet responded to emails sent by World Maritime News seeking comment.
World Maritime News Staff