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US West Coast dockworkers reject contract extension

The union representing some 15,000 dockworkers at the US's largest ports declined an offer by employers to extend existing labor contracts for a year. The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents 70 ocean carriers and terminals operating at 29 West Coast ports, proposed extending its current agreement with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for another year through July 1, 2023.

When companies and workers last discussed contracts in 2014, West Coast ports faced nine months of slowdowns that only came to an end when the federal government got involved. Originally set to end in 2019, the contracts were extended for three more years after roughly two-thirds of union members voted to lengthen them to avoid cargo disruptions in exchange for higher wages and pensions.

Bloomberg reports that, this time around, the negotiations come amid record backlogs at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with persistent supply-chain constraints contributing to delays, shortages of some goods and quickening inflation.


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