Dockworkers contract approved

The Pacific Maritime Association voted this week in favor of a new labor contract with dockworkers.

Representatives from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union agreed to ratify the new agreement, officially ending what has turned into an 11-month-long disagreement.

The final provisions of the contract, reached in February, improved the arbitration process and streamlined healthcare benefits for effected workers. Conditions of the contract will be retroactive to July 1, 2014, and continue through June 30, 2019.

Extended contract negotiations between the PMA and the ILWU became aggressive in late 2014, leading to disruptions in maritime commerce for 29 major West Coast ports, including Hawaii’s, that together see roughly $1 trillion worth of goods each year.

The conflict has directly resulted in a shift away from Western ports in favor of cheaper alternatives in the past few months.

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