Voting Begins on West Coast Contract
March 19, 2015
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have begun the process of ratifying a comprehensive tentative agreement on a five-year contract for nearly 20,000 workers at 29 West Coast ports.
Ninety delegates of the ILWU’s Coast Longshore Caucus are scheduled to meet March 30 to April 3 in San Francisco to decide whether to recommend the proposed contract to the union’s full membership. If recommended, the agreement will be delivered to all ILWU members for a final vote.
Similarly, each of the 72-member shipping lines, terminal operators and stevedoring companies that make up the PMA will vote on ratification. If the agreement is approved at each stage, the process could be completed by the end of April.
Bargaining teams announced the tentative agreement Feb. 20. The deal was reached with the help of the U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. If finalized, the new contract would be in effect from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019.