Are cooler heads prevailing and both sides stepping back from the brink? My last update on January 16th was extremely pessimistic as both the ILWU and PMA were publicly trading barbs despite the supposed moratorium on making public statements during the Federal mediation period. Since that time, we saw two Oakland terminals (SSA and Trapac) shut down twice last week due to labor disagreement.
However today, we saw perhaps the first potentially good news in a long while. The two sides apparently have come to a tentative agreement on the issue of chassis repair. For those who are not familiar with the disagreement, the ILWU wants to retain jurisdiction over chassis repair and maintenance inside the terminals. The PMA has been maintaining that with the steamship lines no longer owning and managing chassis, they did not have the authority to negotiate who had the right to repair and maintain chassis inside terminals. If both sides have indeed come to a tentative agreement on this issue, we do hope that further negotiations to ending the contract dispute can proceed quickly.
Please note that even if / when a contract is agreed upon, it will likely take weeks, if not months for the backlog to be cleared. Furthermore, the other issues that have contributed to congestion remain problems that need to be solved.
t: 650-873-9050 x1019