The Pacific Maritime Association is pleased to welcome you to our 2022/23 Negotiations website section, where we will share information on negotiations for a new West Coast longshore contract with the ILWU. We recognize that these negotiations will have a direct impact not just on the 16,850 ILWU members and their families, but on the tens of millions of U.S. residents whose livelihoods depend on healthy and reliable West Coast ports.

PMA is committed to conducting these negotiations with the interests of the nation in mind: we will engage in good faith talks, and believe a contract must be achieved without work disruptions at our marine terminals. A disruption of any kind would be devastating to an already vulnerable supply chain.

A Message from the
President & CEO

Guiding Principles

Contract talks between PMA and the ILWU are taking place during a period of unprecedented stress on America’s supply chain and logistics network. PMA will negotiate with the ILWU in a spirit of cooperation, guided by the following principles:

Engage in Good-Faith Talks Without Work Disruptions

We are committed to good-faith negotiations without disruption to port operations. Any interruption would severely harm the local and national economies and impact jobs nationwide.

Provide Longshore Workers With World-Class Wages and Benefits

We will continue to provide world-class wages and benefits to ILWU workers, who are essential to keeping goods moving and ensuring the health of West Coast ports. Under the current contract, the 15,500-plus union members earn, on average, nearly $195,000 per year – roughly three times the U.S. median income. In addition, ILWU members enjoy a benefits package worth an average of $102,000 per worker per year, including fully employer-paid healthcare, generous pension and retirement-savings plans, and guaranteed pay for up to 40 hours per week when work is not available.

Prioritize Safety and Training

We will continue to create training opportunities to prepare longshore workers for the high-skilled jobs required today and in the future, while continuing to make safety a top priority. In 2021, our training programs added more than 850 registered longshore workers, mechanics and marine clerks. In February 2022, PMA partnered with the ILWU and the Port of Los Angeles to break ground on a first-of-its-kind training facility that will provide up-skill and re-skill training to position ILWU members for future work on the waterfront.

Modernize Terminals to Handle Cargo Growth

We must modernize our terminals to achieve greater throughput and accommodate growing cargo volumes. The West Coast’s largest marine terminals are hemmed in by urban areas, limiting their scope for physical expansion. Automation enables greater densification, adding capacity within existing footprints to boost cargo throughput and enable future growth without reducing work opportunities for dockworkers. (Read a recent study detailing these findings led by UC Berkeley professor Michael Nacht and Larry Henry.)

Meet Stringent Environmental Regulations

We will meet the stringent environmental standards of the jurisdictions governing West Coast ports to protect the health of workers and neighboring communities. Automating marine terminals with low-emission electric equipment is a key tool in reducing emissions and achieving ambitious environmental goals.