The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has recently reached a tentative agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) after months of negotiations. The agreement, which covers about 20,000 workers at 29 West Coast ports, is set to run until 2022.

This news comes as a relief to many businesses that rely on the West Coast ports for importing and exporting goods. The previous contract expired in July 2018, and since then, there have been concerns about potential strikes and slowdowns that could disrupt trade.

The ILWU is one of the largest and most powerful labor unions in the country, representing workers in industries such as shipping, longshoring, and warehouse operations. The PMA is a trade association that represents the companies that own and operate the ports.

The new agreement includes wage increases, improved benefits, and changes to work rules that are intended to increase productivity and efficiency. One of the key changes is the creation of a new “casual” workforce to supplement the regular workforce during peak periods, which is expected to help reduce congestion at the ports.

Another significant change is the introduction of a new arbitration system to help resolve disputes between the union and the employers. This is seen as an important step towards preventing the kind of labor disputes that have caused disruption at the ports in the past.

The ILWU tentative agreement has been welcomed by both the labor union and the PMA. The agreement still needs to be ratified by the ILWU membership before it becomes official, but this is expected to be a formality. Once ratified, the new contract will bring stability and certainty to the West Coast ports and the businesses that rely on them.

In conclusion, the ILWU tentative agreement is a positive development for the West Coast ports and the businesses that use them. The new contract provides much-needed stability and certainty, and includes changes that are expected to improve productivity and efficiency. This is good news for the economy as a whole, as trade through the West Coast ports is a critical component of US commerce.