• ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,466.390
    90.520
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,496.720
    85.590
    0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.003
    0.1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,466.390
    90.520
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American ShipperWarehouse

West Coast longshore talks come to a head

Union reportedly has comprehensive offer.

   Contract talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association appear to be coming to a head as the number of ships at anchor of West Coast Ports continues to grow.
   The PMA, which represents terminal operators up and down the West Coast, has provided a comprehensive offer to the union that the two sides are expected to continue to discuss today at a meeting in San Francisco.
   “We are pretty much at the end of negotiations,” one management source said. “We gave them a good offer.”
   Peter Friedmann, the executive director of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition says that he has heard diametrically opposed reports about the possibility of a lockout of ILWU workers if an agreement cannot be reached soon.
   Apparently, the ILWU’s jurisdiction over chassis repairs remains a key issue, with the union wanting the ability to reopen contract negotiations if a tentative agreement reached on chassis last month is subsequently overturned by courts or by the Federal Maritime Commission.
   How long the contract would run, however, still remains unclear. Port labor contracts typically last six years, but observers strongly suspect the deal will only be for three years because of uncertainty surrounding how the longshoremen’s health care plan will be treated under the Affordable Care Act. Employers likely will not want to commit to expensive obligations until all the Affordable Care Act regulations are finalized.
   It is possible that labor negotiations on the West Coast and East Coast could even take place simultaneously in 2018. This could potentially put shippers in a pickle as far as finding ports that are unaffected by any potential labor disputes. After contentious negotiations with USMX, the bargaining arm for the marine terminal operators and ocean carriers on the East Coast, the International Longshoremen’s Association finalized a contract in 2013 that expires in 2018.
   The question is when will a West Coast contract go into effect? If it is retroactive to the expiration of the last contract in June, the contract would expire in 2017 and bargaining would begin ahead of the ILA talks. If the new contract begins whenever a settlement is reached, the two sets of labor negotiations face the possibility of falling on top of each other in 2018.
   According to David Adam, chief executive officer of the United States Maritime Alliance, if both unions are dealing with the same labor issues at the same time, they might talk to each other and coordinate their positions.
   
   “If the issues are different then they would probably go on their own paths,” Adam said at a December conference on port productivity hosted by the Journal of Commerce in Newark, N.J.
   Adam previously helped negotiate three labor contracts on the West Coast as a member of the Pacific Maritime Association’s bargaining committee.
   Meanwhile, there continues to be heavy congestion at West Coast ports.
   This morning there were 22 ships at anchor off the of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on, three less than on Tuesday.
   Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California said as of 7 a.m. Tuesday there were 25 congestion vessels at anchor including 20 containerships.
   Louttit said that the port is using “contingency anchorages” to handle the large number of ships at anchor. There were 7 ships in contingency anchorages this morning. There have been no issues or negative effects on safety, security or environment, he said.

Source: Marine Exchange of Southern California and Vessel Traffic Service of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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