WEST COAST PORT LABOR CONTRACTS APPROACHING EXPIRATION ON JULY 1

BOTH SIDES VOW NO STRIKEOUT OR LOCKOUT

June 21, 2022
Go back to NewsBack
BOTH SIDES VOW NO STRIKEOUT OR LOCKOUT

No major professional sports league has had more lockouts or shutdowns than Major League Baseball. And while there have been plenty of notable seasons missed by sports fans across the country–along with missed games and lost paychecks, leagues and teams typically get back up and running quickly once collective bargaining agreements are reached.

1972, 1981, 1994, 2021 MLB

1982, 1987 NFL

1994, 2004, 2012 NHL

1998, 2011 NBA

Fortunately, the same cannot be said for a potential disruption at US West Coast Ports in 2022. Labor talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association(PMA) began in earnest in May as the current contract’s July 1 deadline approaches.

The last major west coast port disruption occurred in 2014, which was the prior expiration period for the previous contract between the ILWU and PMA. Tough negotiations led to a series of slowdowns and shift removals that lasted approximately nine months between the two sides, resulting in deep economic impacts and supply chain disruptions.

The good news is that both sides have vowed that operations will continue even if the current contract’s deadline lapses without a new agreement, the caveat being as long as negotiations progress positively. Unlike the previous contract negotiations when the U.S. Secretary of Labor & Commerce had to intervene. The public perception is President Biden’s administration will not allow a repeat of the prolonged negotiation that could further disrupt an already stressed supply chain.

At this point, it seems like negotiations are moving in a positive direction, with both sides insisting that a strike, lockout, or work slowdown is unlikely; however, one of the main points of contention remains future port plans for automation and the impact it may have on dockworker jobs. Some shippers have begun to take risk mitigation measures amid ongoing negotiations.

Having a strategic logistics partner can help you avoid supply chain disruptions. Don’t let your freight wait.

Contact Whisk today!