Dockworkers at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have staged a slowdown by not showing up for their shifts, which is the latest in a series of sporadic job actions that have been ongoing for a year. The International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU), representing 22,000 workers, has been reminding the terminals and carriers in the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) of its importance. The cargo has continued to flow, but the latest action by the union has disrupted the supply chain and caused delays in cargo delivery. The ongoing negotiations between labor and shipping lines/terminals have been underway for a year, with both sides struggling to reach an agreement. The ILWU is seeking better wages, working conditions, and job security, while the shipping lines/terminals want to increase productivity and reduce costs.
The ILWU has been using social media to get their message out, reminding the PMA that the workers made historic profits of $510 billion during the pandemic. Despite this fact, the percentage of ILWU wages and benefits continued to drop compared to PMA rising revenues. The ILWU is committed to bargaining a contract that is fair and equitable, including wages and benefits that reflect the dedication of the ILWU workforce and its contributions to the shipping industry’s success. The PMA has fired back on Twitter, stating that the ILWU is staging concerted and disruptive work actions that have effectively shut down operations at some marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Union is also staging similar work actions that have shut down or severely impacted terminal operations at the Ports of Oakland, Tacoma, Seattle, and Hueneme.
The ongoing negotiations have captured the nation’s attention, and it’s a reminder that a negotiated labor agreement is crucial in efforts to regain shipper confidence and bring the cargo back to LA. The Port of Long Beach’s Executive Director, Mario Cordero, has urged the PMA and ILWU to continue negotiating in good faith toward a fair agreement. The Port of Los Angeles’ Executive Director, Gene Seroka, has stated that there’s no bigger priority right now than this contract agreement.
All together, the ongoing negotiations between labor and shipping lines/terminals need to be resolved to ensure the smooth flow of cargo and avoid further disruptions in the supply chain. The ILWU is seeking better wages, working conditions, and job security, while the shipping lines/terminals want to increase productivity and reduce costs. Both sides need to find a way to reach an agreement that benefits everyone and ensures the smooth flow of cargo.
Source from: https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/ports/dockworkers-disrupt-us-west-coast-ports-contract-talks-drag