Bill Mongelluzzo, July 11, 2014, JOC.com
Contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association resumed this afternoon, although the three-day extension of the previous contract was not extended further.
“Negotiations have resumed, no extension, ILWU has stated work as normal,” PMA President Jim McKenna said.
Both sides had agreed on July 7 to recess the talks for three days so the ILWU leadership could participate in contract negotiations with grain handlers in the Pacific Northwest. Those contracts are separate from the coastwide contract negotiations. The PMA is not involved in the grain talks.
When the negotiations were recessed on Monday, the ILWU agreed to extend the previous contract for three days. The next day, harbor truck drivers who are striking three drayage companies in Southern California posted pickets at several marine terminals in the harbor, and the ILWU workers walked off their jobs. The area arbitrator ruled the picket was not “bona fide,” or legitimate, under the waterfront contract, and the longshoremen returned to their jobs.
Complete coverage of the ILWU-PMA negotiations
Without an extension of the previous contract while the talks resume, the contract’s grievance mechanism will not be available to employers. Therefore, if the drivers that the Teamsters union is attempting to organize should establish more pickets, and the longshoremen walk off their jobs, employers will not be able to call in the arbitrator.
However, with the indication that cargo handling will continue as normal at West Coast ports, it does not appear at this time that any job actions are planned.