West Coast Longshoremen Ratify Contract Extension
The ILWU’s Coast Balloting Committee confirmed on Friday that West Coast longshore workers at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington have officially ratified a three-year contract extension with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).
The contract extension will raise wages, maintain health benefits and increase pensions from 2019-2022, and 67 percent of members voted in favor of it. The current agreement was set to expire on July 1, 2019; the newly approved three-year pact will extend the expiration to July 1, 2022.
“The rank-and-file membership has made their decision and expressed a clear choice,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “During the past year we saw a healthy debate and heard different points of view, with concerns raised by all sides. The democratic process allowed us to make a difficult decision and arrive at the best choice under the circumstances.”
In light of the ILWU vote, PMA President James McKenna issued a statement, saying: “This historic agreement will be great news for the maritime industry, as well as our customers, workers, port communities, and the U.S. economy. With this contract extension, the West Coast waterfront has a tremendous opportunity
to attract more market share and demonstrate that our ports and our workforce are truly world-class.”