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Will West Coast longshore labor finally come to terms?

A "tentative" agreement has been reached on health care issues
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
August 27, 2014

As the long Labor Day weekend approaches, shippers are being assured that dockworkers and management at West Coast ports may finally agree to terms.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced that they have reached a “tentative” agreement on terms for health benefits, subject to agreement on the other issues in the negotiations.

At the same time, however, the parties have agreed not to discuss the terms of this tentative agreement as negotiations continue.

It should be noted that the word “tentative” is described by most wordsmiths as “not certain or fixed; provisional.”

Maintenance of health benefits (MOB) is an important part of the contract being negotiated between employers represented by the PMA and workers represented by the ILWU.

The contract being negotiated covers nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports. The previous agreement expired at 5 p.m. on July 1, 2014. Talks began on May 12 and are continuing.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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