On April 20, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association reached a tentative agreement “on certain key issues” that could open the door to more negotiations, the ILWU said in a statement.
“Talks are continuing on an ongoing basis until an agreement is reached,” the union said. The tentative deal signals the first significant progress since a pact on healthcare benefits was agreed upon in summer 2022.
The union represents 22,000 dockworkers at ports from Southern California to Washington state, while the PMA usually represents shipping lines and terminal operators that employ the workers.
The ILWU and PMA announced on July 26, 2022 that they had reached a tentative agreement on terms for maintenance of health benefits. The two sides also issued a joint news release on February 23 announcing remained hopeful of reaching a deal soon.
The parties have agreed not to discuss the terms of the tentative agreements as negotiations continue, ILWU said.
Sources familiar with the negotiations told The Wall Street Journal that dockworkers reached a tentative agreement with the PMA regarding automated machinery at cargo terminals, clearing one major hurdle in negotiations for a new contract.
The PMA released its own statement on April 20, saying several issues remain unresolved and that some dockwokers in Southern California “continue to disrupt port operations.”