ILWU and PMA Reach Tentative Health Benefits Agreement

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) released a joint statement last night announcing that an agreement has been reached on the health care portion of the negotiations for their new master contract.  These negotiations have been ongoing since May and it was expected that discussions involving health benefits would be among the most contentious during the talks.  This announcement contained no other updates regarding the status of the negotiations, which have largely been quiet.

The ILWU has been operating without a contract since July and both parties have been meeting regularly since May 12, 2014, when negotiations officially began. Both sides have jointly pledged on several occasions to keep cargo moving without disruption during the talks.

Official statement:

“The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced today that they have reached a tentative agreement on terms for health benefits, subject to agreement on the other issues in the negotiations. The parties have agreed not to discuss the terms of this tentative agreement as negotiations continue.  Maintenance of health benefits (MOB) is an important part of the contract being negotiated between employers represented by the PMA and workers represented by the ILWU. The contract being negotiated covers nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports. The previous agreement expired at 5 p.m. on July 1, 2014. Talks began on May 12 and are continuing.”

Shapiro will continue to closely monitor these ongoing negotiations and advise you of any important updates.