The International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced 20April that it reached a tentative agreement with employers at the Pacific Maritime Association on certain key issues to continue working at US west coast ports including Los Angeles and Long Beach. Negotiations remain ongoing until an agreement is reached in what has been a lengthy, tense process after an earlier contract expired on July 1 last year.
The parties are negotiating new contracts with priorities on wages and the role of automation.
Earlier this month, many workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach failed to turn up to work leading to terminals being shut down for a day and a half.
“Ever since the old contract failed to get renewed in the middle of 2022, the spectre of labour disruptions on the US west coast has been a constant risk factor. A risk which has kept some US importers from shiftings parts of their supply chain back from the east coast to the west coast even though the pandemic-induced issues had been largely resolved,” Lars Jensen, who heads up container consultancy Vespucci Maritime, wrote in a recent post on LinkedIn.