West coast dockworkers’ union move closer to ratifying labour deal

West coast dockworkers’ union move closer to ratifying labour deal

San Francisco: Representatives of a caucus of the US dockworkers’ union voted on Friday to recommend that its members accept and ratify February’s tentative deal that effectively resolved several months of labour disagreements at 29 west coast ports.

By the decision, leaders of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) moved closer to putting a seal on the unrest that caused disruption, backlog and delays to shipping and cargo at ports from Washington State all the way down to southern California.

The tentative deal was for a five-year agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) which represents shipping lines and port operators.

Sticking points had been about job duties and responsibilities, such as with who maintains and repairs truck beds used to haul cargo to distribution warehouses

According to a statement released by the union, 78 percent of the 90 delegates (that is 70 people) in the Coast Longshore Caucus (which covers the west coast) voted to back the proposal.

Copies of the contract will next be sent to the union’s members, discussions will follow at local branches and a vote will be taken among the 20,000 west coast members, with results expected to be known by May 22.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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