ILWU Ratifies New Contract Agreement

82% of unionized US west coast longshore workers have voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement reached in February with employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) voted in favor of approving the new 5-year agreement that is retroactive to July 1, 2014, and will expire on July 1, 2019.

”The negotiations for this contract were some of the longest and most difficult in our recent history,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.

”Membership unity and hard work by the Negotiating Committee made this fair outcome possible.”

The new agreement provides approximately 20,000 jobs in 29 west coast port communities. According to the ILWU, the contract will maintain ”excellent health benefits, improve wages, pensions and job safety protections; limit outsourcing of jobs and provide an improved system for resolving job disputes.”

PMA members ratified the new contract agreement on May 20.

”This contract provides an important framework for the hard work ahead to overcome new competitive challenges and to continue to position the West Coast ports as destinations of choice for shippers worldwide,” said PMA President and CEO Jim McKenna.

”From San Diego to Bellingham, these ports have long been the primary gateways for cargo coming into and leaving the United States, and our interests are aligned in ensuring they can effectively, and efficiently, handle the capacity growth that drives economies and jobs.”

Image: Don Wilson/Port of Seattle

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