West Coast Ports Labor Disruptions


There are reports of labor disruptions at West Coast ports as negotiations between the employer’s  Pacific Maritime Association (PMA} and worker’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) continue. 

Some marine terminals at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach were closed on Friday, and one of the Port of Long Beach terminals canceled daytime appointments on Monday according to news media. 

Reuters has reported that large and small retailers have been diverting cargo away from West Coast ports since before the contract covering 22,000 dockworkers at ports stretching from California to Washington State expired on July 1, to avoid any repeat of labor disputes that in the past have stranded goods on docks or ships.

You can access here an article published by Reuters yesterday afternoon:  “Retailers, manufacturers urge White House to mediate in West Coast ports labor dispute”.

The National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) has just provided the following update to its members:

PMA, ILWU Point Fingers Over Reported Port Disruptions

 The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents the ocean carrier interests in negotiating a new dock labor contract in the West Coast Ports, has blamed the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) for disruptive actions in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as the ports of Oakland and Seattle, over the weekend and early this week.

 “Union leaders are implementing many familiar disruption tactics from their job action playbook, including refusing to dispatch workers to marine terminals, slowing operations, and making unfounded health and safety claims,” PMA said in a press release on June 5.

 PMA warned that actions like this are what drives shippers to shift their cargo from West Coast to East and Gulf Coast ports.

 “Any reports that negotiations have broken down are false,” stated International President Willie Adams, “We are getting there but it’s important to understand that West Coast dockworkers kept the economy going during the pandemic and lost their lives doing so. We aren’t going to settle for an economic package that doesn’t recognize the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce that lifted the shipping industry to record profits.”

 The PMA and ILWU are still negotiating a new labor contract for the West Coast ports.