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PMA makes new contract offer to ILWU in US West Coast port dispute

PMA makes new contract offer to ILWU in US West Coast port dispute
The Pacific Maritime Association has put a new “all-in” offer to members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) as it warns US West Coast terminals are on the brink of collapse following three months of worker slowdowns.

In a video message PMA president Jim McKenna said: “The latest offer is as far as we can go at this point.” The PMA said the latest would see full-time ILWU workers pay rise by roughly 3% a year over the five-year contract bringing the average wage from $147,000 annually to over $160,000. The maximum ILWU pension to $88,000 a year.

“This offer puts us all-in as we seek to wrap up these contract talks and return our ports to normal operations,” he said.

McKenna warned that, “ILWU slowdowns are bringing west coast terminals to the brink of collapse. He also hinted that employers might not put up with the slowdowns for much longer. “Now the PMA has to decide how much longer it can afford to pay workers to work slowly.”

The slowdowns are now into their 14th week. Although slowdowns are illegal under the contract the previous contract expired nine months ago and the two sides have been unable to reach agreement since.

In a customer advisory issued by Maersk Line on Thursday it warned that, “Operations at the Port of Oakland have reached critical level.”

Last week Maersk temporarily omitted the Port of Oakland from its TP2 and TP6 services.

The line said: “With ocean and landside delays continuing to mount and the number of vessels at anchor at all West Coast ports growing, specific actions must be taken to ensure our ocean network is not further compromised by the ongoing congestion.”