News Releases

West Coast Senators Urge ILWU, Pacific Maritime Association to Reach Agreement

Nov 12 2014

Feinstein, Boxer, Murray, Wyden, Cantwell, and Merkley stress the economic importance of keeping the West Coast’s 29 ports operating

(Washington, D.C.) – In a letter sent this morning, the United States Senators from California, Oregon, and Washington urged leaders from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to continue working together toward a fair and amicable settlement on a proposed collective bargaining agreement.  The letter, which was sent to ILWU President Robert McEllrath and PMA President and CEO James C. McKenna, was signed by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

“This collective bargaining agreement is important for the health, safety and economic well-being of the 13,600 longshore, clerk, and foreman workers at 29 ports from California to Washington, as well as for companies large and small, agriculture producers, ports, and international buyers around the world,” the Senators wrote.  “We strongly urge both the PMA and the ILWU to continue negotiating in good faith to resolve the remaining issues and to swiftly move toward a final contract agreeable to both parties.”

The full text of the letter is below: 

November 12, 2014 

Mr. Robert McEllrath
President
International Longshore and Warehouse Union

Mr. James C. McKenna
President & CEO
Pacific Maritime Association

Dear Mr. McEllrath and Mr. McKenna:

We write to urge you to continue negotiations to reach a fair and amicable settlement on the proposed collective bargaining agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).  As you well know, an agreement is imperative to the health of the West Coast economy and to the nation’s as a whole.

The ILWU and members of the PMA have a decades-long relationship that has created a successful structure to support international trade, the competitiveness of West Coast ports, and good-paying middle-class jobs.  This collective bargaining agreement is important for the health, safety and economic well-being of the 13,600 longshore, clerk, and foreman workers at 29 ports from California to Washington, as well as for companies large and small, agriculture producers, ports, and international buyers around the world.  We strongly urge both the PMA and the ILWU to continue negotiating in good faith to resolve the remaining issues and to swiftly move toward a final contract agreeable to both parties.