Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)
has issued a News
Release dated January 5, 2015 stating that
they will mediate the collective bargaining
between the International Longshore and Warehouse
Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association
(PMA) at the request for assistance from both
parties. The FMCS stated "We are prepared and
ready to render prompt assistance."
comes as good news to the Trade as the FMCS has
been known to be effective in helping resolve
prior West Coast and East Coast port labor
contract disputes. The PMA had first requested
mediation on December 22 and renewed that call on
December 29, saying that the ILWU had
misrepresented the amount of progress in the talks
and that "significant issues remain unresolved,
including wages, pensions, jurisdiction and work
the ILWU delayed their request for mediation and
instead demanded that carrier members of the PMA's
board of directors get directly involved in the
talks in order to get negotiations over the finish
FMCS only gets involved if both parties agree to
mediation, and the joint request for a mediator
announced by the FMCS came after the PMA said last
week that it was reducing the number of
longshoremen it was hiring to work on discharging
and loading containerships in the ports of Los
Angeles and Long Beach, in a move to slow the flow
of containers off of ships so that congestion
within the container terminals could be eased.
groups welcomed the news and have praised both
sides for agreeing to mediation. The FMCS stated
that Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, a senior
FMCS mediator with extensive collective bargaining
experience in this industry, has been assigned to
help the parties bring these important
negotiations to a mutually acceptable resolution.
Since the FMCS does not share the progress of the
negotiations with the public, updates are expected
to be few.
you have any questions, please contact your
nearest James J. Boyle & Co.
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