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ILWU: One small issue standing in the way of deal with PMA

ILWU: One small issue standing in the way of deal with PMA
Ships wait off the West Coast near Long Beach and Los Angeles

On Friday, as US West Coast ports were set for a three-day shutdown, a spokesperson for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) told CM that there was only one remaining issue stopping a deal being reached with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

He said he could not say what this issue was exactly because the federal mediator in the dispute had told both sides not to talk about the specifics of negotiations publicly.

However, he said it was a “relatively easy problem to resolve” but that “some of the employers have dug their heels over it”.

The PMA, which represents employers at West Coast ports, said the talks hit a snag over a new demand by the union for changes in the system of binding arbitration of contract disputes.

The President’s Office said on Saturday that US Secretary of Labour Tom Perez will mediate talks.

The temporary closures will affect 29 US West Coast Ports.