ILWU Delegates Approve Tentative Port Agreement

Continuing the resolution of the West Coast ports dispute, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Coast Longshore Caucus delegates voted on Friday to recommend approval of the tentative agreement reached on February 20, 2015, between the union and employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

The tentative agreement was approved on February 20 by the ILWU’s 16-member elected negotiating committee and eight-member safety sub-committee. The proposed 5-year contract covers 20,000 dockworkers at 29 west coast ports.

All 90 delegates to the Coast Longshore Caucus spent this week reviewing the proposed agreement line- by-line, before voting by 78% to recommend the proposal on Friday, according to the ILWU.

“This agreement required ten months of negotiations— the longest in recent history,” said ILWU international president Bob McEllrath, “but we secured a tentative agreement to maintain good jobs for dockworkers, families and communities from San Diego to Bellingham. Longshore men and women on the docks will now have the final and most important say in the process.”

Copies of the agreement will be mailed to longshore union members, who will then have a chance to discuss the proposal at local union meetings. A secret ballot membership ratification vote will be the final step in the process. A final tally will be conducted on May 22, noted ILWU.