Contentious negotiations continue on the West Coast between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), and the federal mediator.  There is no news as to whether progress is being made but both sides continue to accuse each other of stalling negotiations.

The Pacific Maritime Association yesterday released the following statement regarding its ongoing negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union:

 “Nearly three months ago, the ILWU began a coordinated series of slowdowns intended to pressure employers to make concessions at the bargaining table. Ever since, PMA and its members have worked hard to counter the growing backlog of cargo that threatens to bring our ports to gridlock.

Despite ILWU rhetoric, there was no significant congestion in Tacoma, Seattle, or Oakland prior to their slowdowns, which began on Halloween night in Tacoma and at other major ports the following week. In Southern California, the ILWU’s targeted slowdowns have severely worsened existing congestion by withholding the skilled workers who are most essential to clearing crowded terminals. All the while, cargo sits idle, the economic damage to our communities worsens, and the reputation of West Coast ports is harmed. PMA renews its call for normal operations on the docks while we continue to negotiate a new contract.”

PMA also released an info graphic that illustrates the results of the lack of skilled labor and congestion.  To view the info graphic, click on PMA – Congestion Illustration – 011415 – FINAL2.