Transport Topics recently reported that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are in the process of discussing a plan of sorts that will allow all of the West Coast marine terminals to open an hour earlier, which would be at 6 AM. There is a new multilayered contract also in the works for both the union and association to have all their 29 locations covered in California, Washington and Oregon.
The current contract, set to expire July 1, has set work shifts for 8 am to 5 pm, then 6 pm to 3 am and then lastly from 3 am to 8 am. The current negotiations are asking for the initial time of the day to start two hours early at 6 am instead of 8 am. Although, the current contract does allow for an hour of flex time for the 8 am starting shift. The Biden administration is also urging for ports to begin operating during the late night/early morning shifts to help with supply chain challenges. Both the PMA and ILWU have decided to refrain from making any comments on the matter until an agreement is reached. The White House is closely following this as well because whatever is decided will make an impact on the national supply chain.
Union leaders want to point out the different struggles drivers have faced during the pandemic and how many became ill, and some have died. While this new suggestion in hours will help the over supply chain it is important to note the potential impact on workers throughout the whole trucking industry. Burnout in the industry is not only limited to truck drivers, but dispatch workers, supply chain managers and more.