ILWU Signed a Contract

Over the past two years there has been much said about port workers striking at the ports. Sometimes on the East Coast, sometimes on the West Coast, and sometime sympathy striking but it always threatened the flow of international cargo in and out of the United States. Especially since dock workers and many truck drivers were unwilling to cross picket lines. After much talk and back and forth threats on work stoppages as well as an actual port strike, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Harbor Employers Association have come to a final contract. And Freight Forwarders across the US are very pleased with this news.

According to the Journal of Commerce, this contract is the same contract that was accepted by officers of the union but ultimately the members did not approve it so it became a temporary fix to keep the workers going. Since the contract had expired and there was no agreement since June of 2010, the workers decided to strike in December of 2012. One of the biggest issues in the dispute was that clerical jobs were being outsourced to other countries. While this would be a less expensive way to run business for the management, it was leaving with American union workers with less hours and therefore lower overall wages. The new contract is said to have addressed this issue to create job security for the union workers.  

While they may have not come to a perfect agreement, they have reached an agreement that both sides could live with which is more important than ever in this economy. Had there been a longer port strike, it could have affected international freight shipping for months or even years to come.