The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said in a press release Thursday negotiators had reached a tentative deal on "certain key issues" with the Pacific Maritime Association.
The longshore union did not specify which issues the new tentative agreements cover, and declined to share further comments.
The news marks the first deal publicly announced since July 26, when the two sides said they had reached a tentative agreement on the maintenance of health benefits. Prior to the start of talks in May, port employers had said continuing to offer longshore workers with “world-class wages and benefits” was one of five principles guiding the PMA in contract talks.
Other principles include: avoiding work disruptions; prioritizing safety and training; “modernizing” terminals through densification and automation; and preparing to meet “stringent” environmental regulations, according to the PMA website.
The port employers' group released its own statement Thursday afternoon, acknowledging "significant progress has been achieved" in the contract talks.
However, the PMA also said "several key issues remain unresolved" in negotiations. In addition, the association noted a local chapter of the longshore union, ILWU Local 13, continued to disrupt operations at key marine terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Thursday.
"The Union is deliberately conducting inspections that are not routine, unscheduled, and done in a way that disrupt terminal operations," the PMA said.
The two parties began negotiating a new master contract in May 2022, but longshore workers and port terminals have been operating without an active contract since the old working agreement expired last July.
Contract negotiations cover more than 22,000 longshore workers at 29 ports across the U.S. West Coast. The longshore union and port employers' association in February released a joint statement, saying the two parties were “hopeful of reaching a deal soon.”
In its Thursday morning press release, the ILWU reiterated “talks are continuing on an ongoing basis until an agreement is reached.”
Editor's note: This story was updated to include a statement from the Pacific Maritime Association