PMA & ILWU Contract Negotiations Continue After Expiration
PMA & ILWU contract negotiations are expected to continue after the current contract expired as of midnight on June 30th. Neither the PMA or the ILWU have spoken publicly about the progress of the negotiations. Working past the contract deadlines is not unusual or unprecedented. Neither side seems to be putting much pressure on the deadline date as there as been little disruption at the West Coast ports during the contract negotiations.
The main points under discussion in the contract negotiations include wages, safety, jurisdiction, healthcare costs, and technology automation. A three year contract has been suggested as to lessen the impact of the Obamacare tax that is set to take affect in 2018.
The ILWU contract negotiations come at a time where West Coast ports have experienced a loss in market share. Any port disruptions could cost the ports, shippers, and importers billions of dollars. The fact that the PMA and ILWU are continuing talks after the deadline is an encouraging sign of their commitment to reaching an agreement within a reasonable amount of time.