West Coast dockworkers have voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement reached in June with employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) voted 75% in favour of approving the new 6-year agreement that will expire on July 1, 2028.
In a statement, the ILWU said voting results were certified on August 31 by the ILWU's Coast Balloting Committee, which was chosen by Coast Longshore Division Caucus delegates elected from each of the 29 West Coast ports.
"The negotiations for this contract were protracted and challenging," said Willie Adams, ILWU International President. "I am grateful to our rank and file for their strength, to our Negotiating Committee for their vision and tenacity, and to those that supported giving the ILWU and PMA the space that we needed to get to this result."
ILWU noted that the new agreement protects good-paying jobs in 29 West Coast port communities, maintains health benefits, and improves wages, pensions and safety protections.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Coast Longshore Division represents approximately 20,000 longshore and clerk workers on the West Coast of the United States.
Port of LA, Long Beach welcomes ratification
In separate statements, executives at the ports of Los Angeles (Port of LA) and Long Beach — the busiest ports in the Westen Hemisphere — welcomed the ILWU's announcement of the ratification of a six-year contract between the ILWU and the PMA.
"Thank you to the 22,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union members who overwhelmingly ratified a six-year contract. With the leadership of ILWU President Willie Adams and PMA President & CEO Jim McKenna, the collective bargaining system worked," said Gene Seroka, executive director at the Port of LA.
"This contract brings long-term stability and confidence to our customers as we re-double our efforts to bring more cargo back to the Port of Los Angeles, the premier gateway to and from the Pacific Rim," he added.
For his part, Mario Cordero, CEO of Port of Long Beach, also congratulated the ILWU membership on ratifying the new labour agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association.
"The contract ratification will have a hugely beneficial impact on the U.S. economy, which depends on our ports and the trade they facilitate," Cordero said.
"The goods movement workforce and terminal operators provide the top-notch service that brings cargo from around the world to our docks. We're proud to partner with the ILWU and PMA to move cargo through the nation's largest trade gateway here in San Pedro Bay," he added.
Cordero went on to note that the contract will pave the way for the San Pedro Bay ports complex to "competitively and sustainably keep the nation's cargo and the nation's economy moving."