WASHINGTON – US Trade officials lauded a June 14 tentative labor agreement that promises to result in the consistent and stable operation of 29 ports on the West Coast. A joint announcement by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) said both sides reached a tentative agreement on a six-year agreement, which is subject to ratification. Acting Secretary of Labor, Julie Su was credited with assisting in the negotiations. This development is positive news for export-dependent meat companies in the United States.

“This is tremendous news for US red meat exporters and their overseas customers,” said Dan Halstrom, president and chief executive officer of the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF). “While the ratification process will take some time, the tentative agreement will restore stability and confidence in the performance of the West Coast ports, and this is absolutely essential for our industry. USMEF thanks the parties for their flexibility and Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su for making this matter a top priority,” he said.  

While both sides agreed not to release details of the agreement, they confirmed it would ensure continued operations of shipments to and from the 29 ports.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that recognizes the heroic efforts and personal sacrifices of the ILWU workforce in keeping our ports operating,” said PMA president James McKenna and ILWU president Willie Adams in a joint statement. “We are also pleased to turn our full attention back to the operation of the West Coast Ports.”