The International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) began contract negotiations on May 10th.

The current contract covering waterfront labor on the entire US west coastwill expire on July 1, 2022. It is not expected the sides will come to an agreement before the end of the current contract. It is expected automation will be the biggest hurdle in the negotiations. Even Harold Daggett, president of the east and gulf coasts’ International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), posted a fiery speech about standing with the ILWU against automation. Check it out above. It is about seven minutes long.

The parties are due back to the negotiation table after the ILWU requested a hiatus from between May 20th and June 1st. While a break in negotiations may instill a bit a fear to industry stakeholders, it is common to have breaks during the process.

We remain hopeful the sides will come to an agreement without port disruptions and slow downs. All eyes are on the supply chain right now and neither side, nor the Biden Administration, can afford further scourge in the supply chain.

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