Tentative Ports Deal Reached
The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced they have a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports.
West Coast port officials and city leaders expressed their relief as a tentative, five-year labor agreement was announced Feb. 20, which will prevent a potentially damaging work stoppage if it is ratified. The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union jointly announced the agreement that covers workers at all 29 West Coast ports, but they did not release details pending ratification by both parties.
Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup released this statement: "The Port of Long Beach welcomes the tentative contract agreement announced today and is especially grateful to President Obama, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and Federal Mediator Scot Beckenbaugh, whose leadership and direct involvement were key in reaching this pact. We thank the ILWU and PMA and look forward to everyone getting back to business as usual starting immediately. We know that the marine terminal operators, longshore workers, truckers, railroads, and others will be extremely busy as they work to clear out the massive backlog of cargo at all of the West Coast ports, including Long Beach. All of us will be working together to make this happen as soon as possible, but once again, we are extremely pleased with today's news."
"After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry," PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Bob McEllrath said in a joint statement. "We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations."
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti went to San Francisco to meet with Perez and both sides, and he initiated a nightly call with West Coast mayors, according to Garcetti's office. His statement on the tentative agreement said: "The Port of L.A. is the nation's number one port, and so I'm extremely pleased that our work to achieve a tentative agreement has been realized. I want to thank the shippers and dockworkers for heeding our call to resolve their differences so we can move our economy forward. I want to especially thank Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez for his leadership and determination to bring the parties together and to put our economy back on track. We look forward to working with all parties and the Obama Administration to make our ports the best in the world and move our economy forward."
In a statement, Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said the agreement "will go a long way toward helping to move cargo efficiently through the nation’s busiest container port. More than ever, we need labor and management working together with all our stakeholders to solve today’s industry challenges."