ILWU & PMA Have Reportedly Reached a Tentative Agreement on Chassis Maintenance and Repair
With the help of federal mediators, the ILWU and PMA have reportedly reached a tentative agreement on chassis maintenance and repair jurisdiction, which has been a major sticking point in negotiations as of late. Some in the industry believe that the ILWU has been granted jurisdiction over chassis inspections before they leave the terminals. Without jurisdiction over chassis maintenance and repair, hundreds of ILWU mechanics may lose their jobs.
This may cause some headaches for chassis-leasing companies, most of whom have purchased chassis from the PMA. According to the Journal Of Commerce, “because the chassis-leasing companies now own the assets, and are the financially responsible party if an incident occurs and injury or death results, the leasing companies must take the M&R responsibilities seriously, which raises the question of why an additional inspection for roadability is needed at the marine terminals.” The chassis-leasing companies do not want to be put in the middle of the ILWU and PMA and have their chassis ‘red-tagged’ by the ILWU as leverage against the PMA. This would exacerbate the already small pool of chassis available and increase terminal congestion at the West Coast ports.
“The three major remaining issues in the negotiations appear to be wages, pensions, and the length of the new contract. In past contract negotiations, wages and pensions were held to the end of the talks and were normally resolved quickly.” It may still take some time for the contract negotiations to be completed. Conditions at the West Coast ports are not likely to improve until a new contract agreement is reached. Even after a new contract, the congestion at the ports will take some time to be resolved.