SAN FRANCISCO, California—Negotiations for a new labour contract covering nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 US West Coast ports will continue to move forward as the previous six-year coast-wide labour agreement expired July 1. While there will be no contract extension, cargo will keep moving, and normal operations will continue at the ports until an agreement can be reached between the Pacific Maritime Associ ation (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU).
Both sides understand the strategic importance of the ports to the local, regional and US economies, and are mindful of the need to finalize a new coast-wide contract as soon as possible to ensure continuing confidence in the West Coast ports and avoid any disruption to the jobs and commerce they support.
The coast-wide labor contract is between employers who operate port terminals and shipping lines represented by the PMA and dockwork ers represented by the ILWU. The parties have negotiated a West Coast collective bargaining agreement since the 1930s.