February 05, 2015 | Industry Insights

News Alert Update: PMA Seeks to Break Deadlock on West Coast Port Negotiations, Avert Lockdown

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News Alert Update: PMA Seeks to Break Deadlock on West Coast Port Negotiations, Avert Lockdown
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) in a press release today announced that in an effort to break the deadlock in stalled West Coast longshore negotiations, it has made an “all-in” contract offer that significantly increases compensation to members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). According to the press release, full-time ILWU workers  earn an average of $147,000 per year, and would see their wages rise roughly 3%  per year, along with fully paid health care that costs employers $35,000 per worker per year. The maximum ILWU pension would rise to $88,800 per year as part of the proposed five-year contract.
This offer, says PMA, is designed to bring contract negotiations to a close after nearly nine months, and follows three months of ILWU slowdowns that have slowed down productivity at major West Coast ports. “Our members have shown tremendous restraint in the face of ILWU slowdowns that have cut productivity by as much as 30, 40, even 50 %,” said PMA President Jim McKenna. “This offer puts us all-in as we seek to wrap up these contract talks and return our ports to normal operations.”
The offer by PMA also meets the ILWU’s two biggest demands: maintenance of their Cadillac health benefits, which feature no worker premiums, no co-pays and no deductibles for in-network benefits in addition to jurisdiction over maintenance and repair of truck chassis. The resulting contract offer calls for a cost increase of roughly 5% each year over the life of the five-year contract.
McKenna also commented that he hopes “the ILWU leadership will give very serious consideration to this contract offer, which I believe respects their members and gives us a clear path to conclude these talks. We owe it to workers and businesses across the nation to resolve our differences and get our ports moving again.”
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