ILWU Approves New Labor Contract with Port • Long Beach Post

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The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) voted to approve a new labor contract with West Coast ports, including the Port of Long Beach (POLB) Friday, the POLB announced today.

A release issued this afternoon said 82 percent of the ILWU voted in favor of the contract.

“This new pact is terrific for management and labor, and proves that by working together, we can build a partnership that will continue to help to improve this economy and provide jobs all across the United States,” said Long Beach Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond in a statement.

He thanked and congratulated the ILWU and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) for approval of the contract.

“On behalf of the Port of Long Beach and the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, this is a job well done. We all look forward to many years of strong and fruitful efforts to keep trade moving,” Drummond said.

Mayor Robert Garcia thanked “all parties involved” in a statement issued Friday. 

“The vote by our Longshore Workers to approve their five year contract at the Ports is great news for our Port, for our city, and for the nation’s economy,” said Garcia. “We can now move forward together and continue operating the world’s best Port, which is the engine of our local and national economy.” 

The PMA voted to ratify a new contract with the ILWU, to run through July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019, on Wednesday.

“The West Coast ports are an economic engine for the United States, supporting millions of workers and trillions in economic impact,” said PMA President and CEO Jim McKenna in a statement Wednesday. “The disruptions that occurred during negotiations, and the inconvenience and hardship created by them, were regrettable.”

Port officials expressed confidence in the contract on Wednesday, and an eagerness to win back the “trust and confidence of the shipping community,” according to the release.

The 29 ports that the PMA administers labor agreements for experienced cargo traffic slowdowns last February amid contentious contract disputes and suspension of operations. The Port of Long Beach (POLB) workers returned to their jobs on Feb. 17. The two organizations reached a tentative agreement on February 20. POLB traffic was affected through April, as the port recorded its highest cargo flow for that month in nine years as a result of working through the contract dispute backlog.

The Post has reached out the ILWU and is awaiting a response. This story will be updated as we learn more.

This article was updated on 5/22/15 at 4:31PM with a statement from Mayor Robert Garcia.  

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