At a shipping industry conference last month, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) expressed their willingness to consider a West Coast port labor contract extension beyond the current July 1, 2019 expiration date. On April 15, PMA President James McKenna issued a formal request to ILWU to begin negotiations on an extension. ILWU leadership is expected to discuss the request next week at a union caucus in Panama.
Meanwhile, early contract negotiations for East Coast and Gulf Coast ports appear to have stalled for the time being over chassis maintenance and repair issues. This contract expires in 2018, but the two parties involved (the U.S. Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen’s Association) set a goal of extending their contract into 2025.