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Port dock workers’ union ILWU recommends approval of new contract

Press-Telegram Shipping

Delegates for International Longshore and Warehouse Union members are recommending the full union ratify a proposed five-year contract with West Coast port businesses.

Delegates met in San Francisco to consider the contract and the ILWU announced the decision today. The union stated it can now send copies of the contract to its members for their consideration. Dock workers’ votes are expected to be counted on May 22.

The proposed contract, which would set working conditions for some 20,000 dock workers at 29 West Coast ports, is the product of a 10-month negotiation process between the IWLU and businesses represented by the Pacific Maritime Association.  Negotiations became increasingly difficult in the latter weeks, and both sides blamed each other for slowing down work that led to a major backlog at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. The tentative deal was achieved Feb. 20 after Labor Secretary Thomas Perez insisted the two sides finish talks or move the site of negotiations from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

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