Wednesday evening February 4th, Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) CEO James McKenna held a teleconference releasing details of an “all-in” contract offer to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) with the hope that it will break the deadlock of stalled West Coast longshore negotiations and prevent the need for a looming strike or lockout.
This offer addresses key components that the ILWU were demanding, including:
- Agreeing to pay 100% of the Cadillac tax in the Affordable Health Care Act- which features no worker premiums, no co-pays and no deductibles for in-network benefits
- Increasing the maximum pension benefit by 11.1% to $88,800 per year
- Proposing the agreement runs for five years
- Giving the ILWU jurisdiction over chassis maintenance and repair, including the ability to inspect every chassis before the equipment leaves the marine terminal
- See full release here
The ILWU also issued a release Wednesday night urging employers to stay at the negotiating table to bring the talks to a conclusion. ILWU President Robert McEllrath claims there should be no need for an employer lockout or a dockworker strike because an agreement is “extremely close,” and suggested that “the few issues that remain can be easily resolved.” One of the key pending issues that still needs to be resolved is the demand by the ILWU that arbitrators can be unilaterally fired by either the ILWU or the PMA.
With congestion and gridlock continuing to build on the West Coast, the sense of urgency in reaching an agreement is escalating. Odyssey is monitoring the situation closely and will advise as the situation continues to develop. If you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to call.
For up to date information on this issue please click here.