Labor talks covering more than 22,000 workers at U.S. seaports stretching from California to Washington State are ongoing, the union and employer group said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Workers at those ports, including the nation’s busiest ocean trade gateway at Los Angeles and Long Beach, have been working without a contract since the previous one expired on July 1. The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents employers, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) started talks in May.
Major retailers and other shippers have been shifting cargo to East and Gulf Coast ports to avoid potential labor disruptions at West Coast ports, resulting in market-share losses for the latter.
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The ILWU and PMA said they have reached a tentative agreement on key issues such as health benefits and remain committed to resolving remaining issues as expeditiously as possible.
“Talks are continuing on an ongoing basis until an agreement is reached,” they said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Josie Kao)