West Coast Dockworkers Have a Tentative Deal on Some Issues

Say Negotiations Will Continue Until a Definitive Pact Is Reached
The Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland as viewed from a drone. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

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The labor union representing 22,000 U.S. West Coast dockworkers in contract renewal talks said it has reached a tentative agreement with their employers on “certain key issues” and that negotiations will continue until they reach a definitive pact.

Talks have stretched on for months between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association — representing about 70 ocean carriers and terminal operators — over a new labor contract to replace one that expired July 1.

The ILWU and PMA meet regularly in San Francisco for negotiations and “are committed to reaching an agreement,” the ILWU said in a statement April 20.

In late July, the parties said they’d reached a tentative agreement on health benefits.

While work has continued largely as normal at the 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington, there have been issues reported at major hubs including the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, which together form the largest container gateway in the U.S.

The PMA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Inbound cargo volumes have declined at all U.S. ports since the fourth quarter of last year, but West Coast operations have seen a bigger drop-off as importers seek to avoid a repeat of pandemic-era delays and the protracted labor-contract talks.

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