Western port talks on hold for three days



The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association said in a statement late Monday that they will halt negotiations for three days on a new contract covering all West Coast ports for 72 hours to work on “an unrelated negotiation taking place in the Pacific Northwest.”

The joint statement did not name the negotiation that would be the focus of this week’s discussion.

Members of ILWU Local 4 have been locked out of the United Grain terminal in Vancouver since February of 2013.

Dockworkers also have been locked out of the Columbia Grain terminal in Portland since May 2013.

During the break in the West Coast contract talks that will continue through Friday, the parties said they have agreed to extend the previous six-year contract, which expired this past week. The PMA and ILWU are negotiating a new contract covering nearly 20,000 Longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports.