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VI Urges West Coast Port Operators to Begin Contract Negotiations
VI has joined over 100 associations to urge West Coast port operators to begin early discussions on negotiating a new contract before the current one expires in 2019. Although it may seem far off, the effort is meant to encourage the parties to avoid a long and costly West Coast port shutdown like the one that occurred in 2014.
“The impact of cargo disruptions during the 2014 negotiations was widespread and affected many stakeholders at the ports and throughout the United States,” the letter noted. “The costs were enormously high for many economic sectors. We cannot afford a repeat in 2019.”
The letter was addressed to both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents some 13,600 workers at 29 ports along the West Coast, and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). PMA is responsible for negotiating and administering labor agreements with the ILWU on behalf of 72 member companies who are among the world’s leading shipping lines and terminal operators.