A dispute over the assignment of work at a terminal in Seattle is casting a shadow on the outcome of talks to reach a new labor contract between 22,000 dockworkers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports and about 70 employers.
The immediate future of the global supply chain rests on a bargaining table in San Francisco, where the union representing all West Coast dockworkers is hashing out a new contract with the assembled bosses of maritime shipping.
The union that handles every shipping container that crosses West Coast docks is bracing for bankruptcy. It’s a rare prospect for a bargaining group, and it’s rattling organized labor nationally.
Contract talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance ended on Dec. 6 after a disagreement over automation at terminals, leaving negotiations at a standstill without future talks scheduled.
West Coast longshoremen at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington ratified a three-year contract extension with the Pacific Maritime Association on Aug. 4, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced.