Early returns from a vote of union longshore workers indicate that a three-year contract extension with West Coast ports will pass by about 67 percent.
The International Longshore Warehouse Union reported the number in a release late Friday, although the official results won’t be announced by the organization’s Coast Balloting Committee until Aug. 4.
If ratified as expected, the agreement would extend the collective bargaining agreement between ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association until July 1, 2022. The current agreement is set to expire on July 1, 2019.
“The ILWU was founded on principles of democracy, and the rank-and-file always have the last work on their contracts,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “There was no shortage of differing views during the year-long debate leading up to this vote, and members didn’t take this step lightly. In the end, the members made the final decision to extend the contract for three years.”
The contract extension, per ILWU, will raise wages, maintain health benefits and increase pensions. Perhaps just as importantly, the extension will ensure labor peace at 29 ports on the Pacific Coast for years, avoiding the labor strife that led to severe cargo slowdowns in 2014 and 2015.