The leaders for the ILA and the USMX have agreed to a six-year labor contract. Both sides still need to ratify the agreement. The agreement is also contingent on agreements regarding a number of local union negotiations. Details of the actual agreement are not available.
The labor dispute was quite an ordeal, lasting for months on end. For many importers, the dispute changed the way they routed shipments as well as the timing of their orders. Our only hope is that this type of labor dispute does not become the new normal. For those who may not be aware, the contract between West Coast ports and the West Coast longshoremen’s union (ILWU) is set to expire next year, in July 2014.