MESSAGE TO THE RANK AND FILE FROM [ILWU] INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT ROBERT “BIG BOB” MCELLRATH:
” The Coast negotiating team continues to meet in an effort to reach a fair contract that provides security for its rank and file and stability for the industry despite the propaganda and threats from PMA. I urge the membership to stay strong and united and ignore PMA’s propaganda. Together we will prevail.”
Bobby Olvera, Jr. Mondo Porras Mark Williams
President Vice President Secretary/Treasurer
Posted on the ILWU Local 13 website
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) issued the above statement today regarding the status of their contract negotiations with International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU).
As we know and have been suffering through, the contract expired July 1, 2014. Negotiations began in May 2014 but have not been going well. The two sides agreed to federal mediation on January 5, 2015. The high hopes for the mediator being able to bring both sides to an expeditious agreement were soon dash when the both the PMA and ILWU began to issue competing press releases.
Meanwhile, terminal operations continue to suffer, vessels are delayed and skipping ports of call and cargo owners are actively pursuing alternative gateways.
To watch the video click here.
The unresolved contract between the ILWU and PMA has resulted in not only damage to the psyche of the West Coast shipper but also to the businesses and products shipped.
Even before the labor negotiations soured, shippers had grown weary of the congestion on the West Coast. With the increasing delays and inability to get their products to market, whether import or export, they are exploring alternative gateways. Houston has been bantered about quite a bit lately.
This news is not good for California. Once cargo is diverted, it may never come back. Worse yet, export commodities are sitting at processing facilities, in warehouses or in containers up and down the state. Each one of these shipments represents a sale to an overseas buyer. If the buyer is unable to get their hands on the cargo, or it arrives in a damaged state due to idling and longer transit times, they will seek out alternative suppliers in other parts of the world…we are not the only ones who grow things, after all. Once a customer finds a different supplier, they may never come back to their California grower.
Reliability is woefully missing and desperately needed.