We remember all too well the pains of the west coast labor negotiations in 2014/2015. It took nearly a year to finalize the contract and the US Labor Secretary’s involvement to close the deal. The aftermath and clean up took months to clean up.
The current contact is set to expire on June 30, 2019. The PMA sent a letter to the ILWU requesting early negotiations, and the labor union sought approval from its rank-and-file. The matter was voted on by ILWU delegates last month, and the majority elected to enter into early contract negotiations.
It is a hopeful sign. The industry was set to have simultaneous negotiations with both the east/gulf coast contract and the west coast contract expiring in close proximity. A nationwide disruption would be devastating to the county Not to mention the industry cannot handle further disruption to cargo flows on the west coast alone.