Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — July 1, 2014 will mark the end of a six year, tensely negotiated contract between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association. According to a recent article appearing in the Journal of Commerce on June 17, 2014, the main issues are a bit surprising as wages, always important, are not thought to be front and center this time around. In the Journal’s opinion, there are three major issues the union is anxious to address. The first is the question of who will pay for an excise tax on premium health care plans set to begin in 2018 under the Affordable Care Act. The second is disputes over jurisdiction and related automation issues. The final is concern over major carrier alliances.
In the opinion of West Coast Shipping, there are several possible outcomes:
The first and probably most unlikely outcome is that agreement will be reached before the contract ends. The second is that there will be “slow-downs” similar to those experienced in prior negotiations. This may result in extended delivery times and delays loading and unloading at the docks. The third is a Strike, with extended disruption of shipping.
West Coast Shipping is advising its clients to plan ahead and where possible, arrange earlier deliveries and map out alternative routes. The management of West Coast Shipping is staying abreast of the talks and encouraging both sides to reach an early agreement. The company believes there is little for either side to gain by striking, while there is much for both sides to lose. In the event there is a strike, the company is prepared to ship customer cargo through Houston or New York and will strive to keep everyone informed as the talks develop.
Please contact West Coast Shipping or visit the company on Facebook for up to date information about the ILWU strike.