Over the last few months, the industry has felt growing concerns over a potential strike by the ILWU or lockout by terminals regarding the expiration of the longshoreman’s labor contract.
On Wednesday March 30, Jim McKenna, the chief executive of the Pacific Maritime Association, announced May 12 as the date for talks to begin around a new labor contract. The discussions are set to begin at the PMA offices in San Francisco and will alternate from there and the union offices.
While there is optimism around reaching an agreement before the contract expiration on July 1, the union has not yet disclosed its demands for the new contract. The Biden Administration has maintained involvement with the ILWU leadership in hopes of avoiding further complications to the volatile supply chain crisis.
“There are reasons for concern and there are reasons for optimism. I don’t think anyone is willing to weigh in confidently on how this will end up,” said Mohawk Global Director of International Transportation, Chris Lindstrand. “Both sides have every reason to want to avoid a labor disruption, but these are serious negotiations with long term implications. We’ll all be watching with hope, but until a deal is settled, we have to prepare for disruptions.”
Mohawk Global will continue tracking the labor negotiations on the West Coast and keep you advised of updates throughout the process.