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U.S. West Coast dockside labor/management talks brighten a bit

Logistics Management

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing employers at 29 ports, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 20,000 dockworkers, have come to a tentative agreement on a key issue in ongoing contract negotiations.

Spokesmen for both factions disclosed yesterday that the issue of maintaining cargo chassis has been addressed, thereby easing the way toward a final agreement.

The two sides have not ceased blaming one another for the Pacific Rim port congestion, however.

The PMA, for example, continues to insist that the ILWU has been staging “work slowdowns” as a bargaining tactic – not just at the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach – but all along the West Coast.

For it’s part, the ILWU accuses management of not providing enough training for dockworkers to safely do their jobs.

Shippers who have had to endure eight-month-long battle may find some relief in the fact that one more piece of contention has been removed. Details have yet emerge, however, and one hopes that a new six-year “water-tight” contract may finally be inked.

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