As negotiations (hopefully) continue between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the situation at West Coast ports remains fluid. Here are a few updates to get you up to speed.
- Last week, CNBC reported that there have been slowdowns and shutdowns at terminals at the Port of LA, the Port of Oakland, and other key West Coast ports. These events had been increasing wait times for arriving ships and delaying the offloading of containers – effects which haven’t been seen since the pandemic. CNBC also reports that, “Over the past 2½ months, average wait times at anchorage in LA were between a half-day to 1½ days, with service time averaging of two to five days. At the APL Terminals in LA, docked vessels are now occupying space for as many as nine days.”
- As of Tuesday, June 13, however, operations at these and other West Coast ports had returned to normal, according to the JOC. Furthermore, the PMA and IWLA agreed to a “cooling off period” during a meeting with Julie Su, the Biden administration’s nominee for Labor Secretary. The hope is that this cooling-off period can lead to an agreement on the most contentious issues such as wages.
- Meanwhile, in Canada, IWLU workers at Canadian West Coast ports including Vancouver voted in landslide numbers to strike, according to CNBC. Negotiations had been proceeding between the IWLU and the British Maritime Employers Association before the strike vote occurred. However, this does not necessarily mean that a strike is imminent; the earliest possible date a strike could occur is June 24.
- Reuters reported that the US Chamber of Commerce, the largest business group in the US, has asked President Biden to intervene in the negotiations.
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