West Coast Port Labor Negotiations Started

As we reported earlier,the current labor contract for the ILWU expires at midnight on June 30, 2014. The negotiations for the new  contract  began on Friday May 12th.  Talks are scheduled to continue on a daily basis in San Francisco until an agreement is reached. The site of the talks varies between the PMA (Pacific Maritime Association) office and the ILWU office on a week by week basis. The PMA reports on its website that “Both sides say they expect cargo to keep moving until an agreement is reached”.

“Dockworkers are looking forward to negotiating a fair agreement that protects the good jobs and benefits that support thousands of families and dozens of communities around West Coast ports,” ILWU International President Bob McEllrath said in a statement Monday.

The PMA is citing loss of market share for west coasts ports and labor disruptions would only contribute to further losses.

Steamship lines have filed congestion surcharges that will go into effect if there is any “strike, work stoppage, work slow-down or other labor related disruption to operations at any U.S. port”

If labor disruption occurs, surcharges will go into effect as of June 10 for import or export cargo at USA ports. The filed surcharges are approximately 800 per 20′ and 1000 per 40′ container. If there are no labor issues, surcharges will not be implemented. If labor unrest occurs, the surcharge can be assessed until the impact of the disruption has ended (as determined by the Carrier).

RCL Agencies Inc. will keep you updated as the situation develops.  If you have any questions or would like specific information on any steamship line please contact us.