Industry leaders react to West Coast ports contract ratification

Industry leaders react to West Coast ports contract ratification

September 1, 2023

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After more than a year of uncertainty for West Coast ports amid ongoing union contract negotiations, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratified a six-year contract agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association on Thursday.

The union, which covers more than 22,000 longshore workers at 29 ports across the West Coast, voted 75% in favor to approve the tentative contract agreement that was reached in June.

Fears of a strike plagued the industry as longshore workers and port terminals have operated without an active contract since July. The two sides finally reached a tentative contract agreement in June.

Here are some excerpts of what industry leaders are saying about the deal.

Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero

“The contract ratification will have a hugely beneficial impact to the U.S. economy, which depends on our ports and the trade they facilitate. The goods movement workforce and terminal operators provide the top-notch service that brings cargo from around the world to our docks. We’re proud to partner with the ILWU and PMA to move cargo through the nation’s largest trade gateway here in the San Pedro Bay.

This contract will pave the way for the San Pedro Bay ports complex to competitively and sustainably keep the nation’s cargo and the nation’s economy moving.”

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka

“Thank you to the 22,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union members who overwhelmingly ratified a six-year contract. With the leadership of ILWU President Willie Adams and PMA President & CEO Jim McKenna, the collective bargaining system worked. This contract brings long-term stability and confidence to our customers as we re-double our efforts to bring more cargo back to the Port of Los Angeles, the premier gateway to and from the Pacific Rim.”

Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Lucille Roybal-Allard

“I salute the ILWU and PMA for reaching final agreement on this contract. Our longshore workers did heroic work throughout the pandemic and are critical to the success of our Port. Now it’s time for all stakeholders to come together as we work to grow jobs and cargo while creating a cleaner and more sustainable port.”

Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass

“With a long-term contract in place, now is the time to strengthen the competitiveness of our ports and regain our market share to generate more high-paying jobs and invest in sustainable port operations. We must ensure that our ports are maximizing the positive economic impacts to our cities while reducing the environmental impacts to our communities. As Mayors, we recognize the value of our ports to the nation’s supply chain and to our communities and we remain committed to working together with the ILWU, PMA and our two ports to demonstrate why we are the nation’s gateway of choice.”

National Association of Manufacturers President & CEO Jay Timmons

“Manufacturers are pleased to see that @ilwulongshore and @WestCoastPorts have overwhelmingly ratified the tentative agreement reached earlier this year. As @ShopFloorNAM long advocated, this resolution provides manufacturers the certainty needed to keep #CompetingToWin.”

Harbor Trucking Association CEO Matt Schrap

“Glad to see the vote come through…back to some certainty for the next few years it would seem”.

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