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PMA President Offers Update on West Coast Labor Contract Talks

Speaking at the Agriculture Transportation Coalition’s annual conference, Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) President Jim McKenna said he is still hopeful that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will accept PMA’s request (submitted in mid-April) to enter into early negotiations on a new labor contract extension.

McKenna added that the U.S. government and industries that rely on West Coast ports will have little tolerance for a repeat of the contentious contract negotiations of 2014-2015. While never resulting in a formal strike or lockout, slowdowns related to these negotiations led to unprecedented levels of port congestion in late 2014 and the first two months of 2015. The backlog took several weeks to clear, with port traffic finally returning to normal in the summer of 2015.