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U.S. West Coast Update: PMA Suspends Holiday Operations as Rhetoric Escalates

According to multiple media outlets, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) has announced that it will suspend vessel operations at all West Coast ports on February 12 (Lincoln’s Birthday), as well as February 14-16 (Presidents’ Day weekend). Yard, gate and rail operations will continue at the discretion of each terminal operator. The PMA characterized the decision as both financial and operational in nature, explaining that holiday wages for members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are, at minimum, 50% higher than their basic rate.


“What they’re doing,” commented PMA spokesman Wade Gates, “amounts to a strike with pay, and we will reduce the extent to which we pay premium rates for such a strike.”


In response to the PMA’s decision and accusations, ILWU President Robert McEllrath issued an address direced to union members via YouTube. “The Union is standing by ready to negotiate,” he stated, “as we have been for the past several days...[PMA is] using lies and tactics to turn the public against us and turn locals against the negotiating committee and the rank-and-file against each other... Stay strong, stay united, listen to your local officers, listen to your negotiating team, do not listen to the superintendents on the job, do not listen to PMA’s bullshit.”


As reported by the Marine Exchange of Southern California, as of the morning of February 11, 14 container vessels were anchored off Los Angeles and Long Beach due to port congestion.


SPARX logistics will continue to monitor this situation and keep our customers informed of the latest developments. If you have questions or concerns related to specific shipments, please feel free to contact your SPARX representative.