West Coast Longshoremen and shippers reach tentative 6 year agreement, full coverage continues with pact

Haven't written much about this, but I'm glad a tentative agreement has been reached

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Labor Notes
West Coast dockworkers reach tentative 6-year deal with shippers
International Herald Tribune, France - 16 hours ago
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced a six-year agreement Monday after lengthy weekend negotiations with Pacific Maritime Association. ...
Tentative Agreement Reached Covering 25000 Workers at 29 West ... FOXBusiness
Union, shippers reach accord on contract San Francisco Chronicle
Dockworkers Reach Tentative Deal Wall Street Journal
Reuters - Los Angeles Business Journal (subscription)
all 272 news articles »
West Coast dockworkers reach deal with shippers
The Associated Press - 8 hours ago
The union previously reached an agreement with shippers on a health care plan expected to cost about $500 million this year. The union had sought to retain ...

Wall Street Journal
US West Coast dockworkers talks go past deadline
Reuters UK, UK - Jul 1, 2008
A six-year contract covering dockworkers up and down the West Coast expired at 5 pm (0000 GMT) on Tuesday but representatives for employers and for the ...
Ports labor talks still amicable Long Beach Press-Telegram
West Coast shippers, union still bargaining Philadelphia Inquirer
Clock ticks down on US West Coast dockworkers contract Reuters UK
all 129 news articles »
Here's an article that explains more, from Patrick Burnson, the Executive Editor of Logistics Managment, "Ocean cargo: ILWU and PMA reach tentative agreement on contract" (7/29/08):

SAN FRANCISCO—Following what has been described as “marathon weekend bargaining session,” leaders from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced a preliminary agreement on terms for a new six year contract covering more than 25,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports. The leaders shook hands in San Francisco over the proposed agreement late yesterday.

Shippers, who had been hoping that a contract would be signed before the last one expired on July 1, welcomed the news nonetheless.

“We are just happy that this (bargaining session) is through,” said Joel Anderson, president of the International Warehouse and Logistics Association (IWLA).“Now we can get back to the business of moving freight.”

The agreement is subject to ratification by the ILWU and PMA membership. The ILWU and PMA have agreed to extend the previous agreement and resume normal port operations.

ILWU president Bob McEllrath and PMA president Jim McKenna said the proposed agreement meets the needs of both workers and the industry. It allows West Coast ports to be competitive and provides the good jobs that workers and communities need.

The parties have agreed not to discuss details of the agreement until the ILWU a nd PMA leadership teams have communicated with their respective membership.

The West Coast longshoremen are the highest-paid blue-collar workers in America. Average full-time wages for fully registered workers exceed $136,000. ILWU members also enjoy fully employer-paid health benefits, with no premiums or deductibles and 100 percent coverage for standard medical benefits. Based on a tentative agreement, those fully-paid benefits would continue.

At the same time, the PMA has reminded shippers that West Coast ports generate almost $1.3 trillion in domestic business impacts – representing 11 percent of total U.S. gross domestic product – and support more than 8 million direct and indirect U.S. jobs.

Hope it works out OK for all parties.

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