ILWU details path to ratifying West Coast port labor deal

ILWU details path to ratifying West Coast port labor deal.jpg

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With a tentative contract agreement in hand, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is now focused on presenting the deal to members and following a months-long ratification process.

The union and the Pacific Maritime Association said Wednesday they had reached a deal that both recognizes workers’ efforts during the pandemic, but keeps port operating, according to a joint statement.

“While the final decision is up to our members, we feel our time at the bargaining table was well spent and that the agreement represents the hard work of our rank and file and the sacrifices they made during the pandemic,” ILWU President Willie Adams said in a Thursday statement.

Adams said the union will not publicly release details of the deal until after the ratification process is complete, which could take months. He proceeded to go into detail about the process.

The ratification process starts with a “contract caucus that convenes delegates from our 29 locals up and down the West Coast,” Adams said. “These delegates will carefully review the tentative agreement and make a recommendation to the rank and file who will then vote on the tentative agreement.”

The union represents 22,000 workers at West Coast ports. The union and its employer counterpart said in their joint statement Wednesday that the new contract will cover a six-year term.

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