Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

PMA warns of 'complete gridlock' at US West Coast ports

PMA warns of 'complete gridlock' at US West Coast ports
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) has warned longshoremen slowdowns are in danger of bringing US West Coast ports to “complete gridlock”.

Pay negotiations between US West Coast ports and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have dragged on for eight months and since October slowdowns by port workers have led to serious congestion at terminals.

The PMA said that ILWU-slowdowns had reduced terminal productivity at the five largest ports on the US West Coast and conditions were “approaching complete gridlock”. It said the ILWU has been withholding 75 yard crane drivers a day.

“The PMA has a sense of urgency to resolve these contract talks and get our ports moving again,” said PMA spokesperson Steve Getzug. “Unfortunately, it appears the Union’s motivation is to continue slowdowns in an attempt to gain leverage in the bargaining. The ILWU slowdowns and the resulting operational environment are no longer sustainable.”

The ILWU hit back accusing the PMA of causing the problems by cutting labour gangs and leaving equipment in an inoperable state. In a letter sent to the PMA by ILWII locals 13, 63 and 94 said the PMA had reduced gangs on the night side from three to one at the start of the year and now was planning to eliminate them completely.


“This decision to completely eliminate manning, coming 10 days after the initial decision to reduce the gangs down to one per vessel, cannot be justified. There is no evidence that there has been any effort to reallocate labor to clearing out the yard. We ask you to reconsider this unilateral action,” the letter said.