West Coast port labor talks to begin May 10

It’s official: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union will begin its long-anticipated contract negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association on May 10.

Many shippers were nervously awaiting this moment. After all, the two parties involved represent many of the companies and workers that keep West Coast ports running. If, like in the past, contract disagreements were to cause disruptions — supply chains could slow down further, too.

Leaders from both the ILWU and PMA have so far downplayed those fears.

“Talks are scheduled to continue on a daily basis until an agreement is reached,” the two parties said in a joint press release Monday. “Both sides say they expect cargo to keep moving until an agreement is reached.”

The message of mutual cooperation is one the two groups have consistently emphasized as they set the stage for contract negotiations. During subsequent appearances at the Port of Los Angeles’ monthly media briefings in April and May, officials from both the ILWU and PMA emphasized their optimism in the negotiations, noting the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic had helped cement a cooperative relationship. And while each side expressed confidence in reaching a deal, they also came short of guaranteeing the talks would conclude before the current contract expires at 5 p.m. on July 1, 2022.

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Source: Supply Chain Dive

BDP International will continue to monitor the ILWU negotiations and share updates and developments as necessary. In the meantime, please reach out to your local BDP representative with any questions or concerns.