After months of dragged-out negotiations over a labor contract for West Coast port workers, an agreement has finally been reached. The negotiations saw tempers flare and dock workers not show up for scheduled shifts, threatening to grind two of the largest ports in the U.S. to a halt.
A tentative agreement was announced late Wednesday evening for a 6-year contract between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMS), which represents the terminals, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents dock and port workers.
No details of the agreement were released as the deal is still subject to ratification by both parties.
According to the PMS and ILWU, acting Labor Secretary Julie Su flew to San Francisco on Monday to meet with both parties and her participation "played a key role" in the negotiations and the new deal between the port and its workers.
James McKenna, PMA President, said the new agreement "recognizes the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce in keeping our ports operating [during the pandemic and supply chain crisis]."
Meanwhile, the ILWU President, Willie Adams, noted that the deal will now "turn our full attention back to the operation of the West Coast ports."
ZeroHedge reported that agreeing on a deal prior to peak season was critical for all parties involved. The ILWU avoided having its reputation smeared for delaying Christmas cargo to be able to demand increased wages that were already adequate and the PMA averted profit losses for the port due to reduced productivity during peak season.
On Tuesday, Port of Los Angeles executive Gene Seroka said, "If we can get a labor deal soon and the economy doesn't falter, we'll have a strong second half." Seroka got his deal, now the economy just needs to hold out.
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