ILWU contract talks: Pandemic profits at the forefront


ILWU Remains Committed to Negotiating a Good Agreement for ILWU Workers as Contract Talks Continue

Pandemic profits at the forefront

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 2, 2023) – The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) represents over 70 multinational ocean carriers and maritime companies in contract negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). PMA member carriers and terminal operators made historic profits of $510 billion during the pandemic. In some cases, profits jumped nearly 1000%. Even as shipping volumes return to normal in 2023, PMA members have continued to post revenues that far exceed pre-pandemic times by billions of dollars.

ILWU workers risked and lost their lives during the pandemic to ensure grocery store shelves were stocked, PPE was made available, essential medical supplies were reaching our hospitals, and record volumes of consumer goods continued to reach the doorsteps of American consumers while also enabling the shipping industries’ astronomical revenues. Despite this fact, from pre-pandemic levels through 2022, the percentage of ILWU wages and benefits continued to drop compared to PMA rising revenues. The ILWU is committed to bargaining a contract that is fair and equitable, including wages and benefits that reflect the dedication of the ILWU workforce and its contributions to the shipping industry’s success.

“Any reports that negotiations have broken down are false,” stated International President Willie Adams, “We are getting there but it’s important to understand that West Coast dockworkers kept the economy going during the pandemic and lost their lives doing so. We aren’t going to settle for an economic package that doesn’t recognize the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce that lifted the shipping industry to record profits.”

The collective bargaining agreement that the ILWU and PMA are negotiating covers more than 22,000 longshore workers at 29 U.S. West Coast ports. The previous agreement expired on July 1, 2022, and talks began on May 10, 2022. The ILWU and PMA continue to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement and are committed to reaching an agreement.

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