Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Important (and good) news on USA West Coast labour negotiations

Do you have traffic moving in or out of the USA West Coast?

Some really encouraging news at last - for those of you who have ocean freight traffic moving in or out of the USA West Coast ports, you've probably been concerned about the risk of strike action by the main port workers union, the ILWU (International Longshore & Warehouse Union) and what it might mean to you in terms of extra costs (congestion surcharges) and also potential delays. We hear that many companies had already started diverting traffic to the East Coast (hard to believe when you consider the distance of 3000m) however pre-Christmas traffic is already moving in the global supply chain and retailers in particular cannot risk empty shelves.

We've just received the below bulletin through one of our channels which we felt we should share with you, especially as it's good news!

U.S. West Coast Labor Contract: ILWU & PMA Contract Negotiations
The master contract between the Longshoremen's & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the (employers) Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) expired on July 1, 2014. The master contract governs twenty nine ports on the U.S. West Coast from San Diego to Seattle, impacting a total workforce of nearly 20,000 longshore and clerical personnel.

In a joint release on August 26, the ILWU and PMA announced that, "...they have reached a tentative agreement on terms for health benefits, subject to agreement on other issues in the negotiations. The parties have agreed not to discuss the terms of this tentative agreement as negotiations continue." The tentative agreement on health benefits is a significant milestone towards reaching a coastwise master contract. The full release can be viewed on the PMA website (, or by clicking here.

Kind Regards

Andy Cliff
Straightforward Consultancy