UPDATE: 6/14/2023— A tentative agreement has been jointly announced by PMA and ILWU. While still pending ratification, this is a massive step towards the completion of a six-year contract which should ensure the fluidity of US West Coast Ports.
Uncertainty continues on the West Coast, with International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada’s recent actions combined with ILWU actions in the U.S. to create an unsettled situation. Below is a brief recap of the issues being faced.
U.S. West Coast Ports
The labor and operational issues continue in all major West Coast ports. Periodic disruptions have slowed most operations, including vessel working and gate fluidity.
Seattle has been the hardest impacted with vessels being delayed into port by a four-to-five-day average. Small backlogs in Los Angeles and Oakland have been cleared out. The risk will remain of fluctuating disruptions during this unsettled period.
As a result of this recent pressure and continuing activity, acting Labor Secretary nominee Julie Su was expected to have met with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) on Monday afternoon, to help narrow the gap between the PMA and ILWU.
However, concern continues to build as ILWU and PMA have been more outspoken recently, and comments coming from those reportedly close to the negotiations have become increasingly pessimistic.
ILWU Canada has voted to approve a potential strike action over their ongoing dispute with Canada’s SC Maritime Employer’s Association.
The vote, which took place at the end of last week and results were announced today, would allow for a 72-hour notice of strike to be announced as early as June 21. This would mean the earliest date for a strike would be June 24.
The parties have stated their commitment to good-faith negotiations.
By Christopher Lindstrand, Director of International Transportation