June 30, 2014 will mark the end of the current International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) contract. The ILWU manages the labor for all Longshore work done on the west coast of the United States from Seattle to San Diego and Vessel Pilots in the Panama Canal.
Since the historic lock out of 2002 when the ports were closed for 10 days and it took months to get back to normal, the ILWU and the Pacific Merchants Association (PMA) have renewed two six year contracts without any major disruptions.
Although no one can predict the future, it is important to know the potential scenarios that may occur during the contract renewal negotiations this summer.
There are three major scenarios which may play out:
- The contract will be renewed without any major disruptions.
- Upon the expiration of the contract, union and management will continue to negotiate and cargo will continue to flow through west coast ports with minor disruptions and delays until a final settlement is reached.
- Contentious negotiations resulting in uncertainty and possible productivity slowdowns and potentially a similar scenario that occurred in 2002.
MIQ is simply informing you while planning your supply chain for the summer of 2014. MIQ Logistics will continue to update you on this issue as the events unfold. For additional information please contact your MIQ Logistics representative.