Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), along with their families, friends and other supporters are planning to march in downtown Tacoma, Washington and in San Pedro, California while contract talks between the leaders of the worker-friendly ILWU and the employer-friendly Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) meet in Tacoma. These important contract talks could affect about 20,000 Longshoremen in 29 of the West Coast’s port cities. The previous contract had expired in July 2014.
Talks have been heated and progress has been limited between employers and the union leaders, despite federal mediation. Each side is accusing the other side of prolonging the dispute. Although, an agreement has been reached on health and pay benefits, tentatively.
What Are the Details of the Tentative Health and Pay Plan for Longshoremen?
For now, the ILWU and PMA have agreed to the following on health and pay benefits under their tentative plan:
- Fully employer-paid health care benefits with an annual value of $35,000 for each worker.
- Proposed pay increases.
- Proposed pension enhancements.
These talks are extremely important because California longshoremen are a key reason why the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are able to handle 40 percent of all U. S. imports. For now, seventeen cargo container ships have been left unloaded at sea as the two parties battle it out in Tacoma.
In addition to the health care benefits proposed in Tacoma, longshoremen and other dockworkers will still be able to count on the Longshore Act and other laws, depending on facts surrounding their injury.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys