Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) – 22,000 longshore workers from 29 ports along the US West Coast – have voted to ratify a six-year contract negotiated by the union, bringing to an end a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.
Seventy-five percent of ILWU members voted in favour of the deal, which is reported to include a 32 percent pay rise and an appreciation payment recognising workers for keeping supply chains moving around the clock throughout the Covid-19 pandemic despite enormous personal risk. Pay rises will be applied retroactively from 1 July 2022 and the contract runs until July 2028.
“This was a hard-fought battle,” said Paddy Crumlin, President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and chair of ITF’s Dockers’ Section. “Our heartfelt congratulations go to the rank-and-file, International President Willie Adams and the rest of the negotiating team on the approval of the new contract agreement.”
“This victory will deliver wide ranging improvements and protections for US longshore workers, and alongside the Teamster’s historic UPS deal, it sets the tone for contract negotiations across transport supply chains globally.”
The new agreement protects good-paying jobs in 29 West Coast port communities, maintains health benefits, and improves wages, pensions and safety protections.
“The negotiations for this contract were protracted and challenging,” said Willie Adams, ILWU International President. “I am grateful to our rank and file for their strength, to our negotiating committee for their vision and tenacity, and to those that supported us, giving the ILWU and PMA the space we needed to get to this result.”
Displays of solidarity by the ITF and global unions, particularly the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) which represents over 70,000 longshore workers on the US East Coast, Great Lakes, Puerto Rico and Eastern Canada.
“From east to west in the US, and globally, dockers unions' united behind the ILWU in their negotiations,” said Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary. “ILWU longshore workers have won a contract the recognises their work as the economic drivers of the soaring profits being seen across maritime supply chains in the US and around the world. We congratulate the ILWU rank-and-file and leadership for their decisive victory.”