Bid to Break Ports Deadlock
US West coast employers have made an offer to longshore workers in a bid to end the deadlock over a new labour contract that has added to the chaos afflicting some of the country's largest ports.
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing shipowners and terminal operators, revealed details of the offer that it says would significantly increase compensation to members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). PMA said its offer was designed to bring contract negotiations to a close after nearly nine months, and follows three months of slowdowns that had hit productivity at major west coast ports.
Despite four weeks of participation by a federal mediator, the parties have not yet been able to bridge the considerable gaps between them. Negotiations began in May last year.
On Wednesday (4 February), 22 vessels were at anchor outside the two worst-affected ports - Los Angeles and Long Beach - due lack of space in the harbour.. The Marine Exchange of Southern CaliforniaU has opened up temporary anchorages to cater for the number of ships unable to berth.
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