ILWU Contract Negotiations Will Likely Continue into August
ILWU contract negotiations resumed today after a two-day caucus to meet with ILWU waterfront employees to discuss the progress of the negotiations. Although the ILWU and PMA have not yet reached an agreement on a new contract, the ILWU is continuing to work without a contract. According to the JOC, “both the union and terminal operators agreed to continue negotiating and to keep cargo moving through West Coast ports without interruption”.
Negotiations will go until July 28th as the ILWU is set to attend contract negotiations with the Grain Handlers in the Pacific Northwest – a completely separate contract. Given the timing of the breaks in the ILWU contract negotiations due the the caucus and Grain Handler negotiations – it does not seem likely that the ILWU and PMA will reach an agreement until August.
Although the ILWU and terminal operators have vowed to keep cargo moving through the West Coast ports, some shippers and importers have chosen to route their shipments through Canada and the East Coast.