ILWU Wants PMA Member Carriers at Negotiating Table

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said that the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) member carriers sitting on PMA’s Board of Directors need to come to the negotiating table so that direct and constructive dialogue between key decision makers can take place.

The 11 members of PMA’s Board of Directors are largely carriers but also are the chief officers of the largest terminals, none of whom have had any direct participation in negotiations since the parties began bargaining in May, according to ILWU. PMA’s principal decision makers have not yet, in seven months of bargaining, had a single face to face meeting with union negotiators, said ILWU.

In contrast, the ILWU says that it has its principal decision makers, a member-elected Negotiating Committee comprised of local union representatives and International officers, at the bargaining table.

“Sure, my counterpart, Jim McKenna, has been involved in negotiations from the start, but all the decisions are made by the carriers sitting on PMA’s Board of Directors,” said Robert McEllrath, ILWU President and Chairman of the Union’s Negotiating Committee.“Indirect negotiations won’t get us over the finish line. The few issues that remain unresolved relate directly to the carriers and these key carriers need to come to the table.”

Last week PMA , which represents employers at America’s 29 West Coast ports, asked for federal mediation in contract negotiations with ILWU.

Image: Don Wilson/Port of Seattle

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