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ILWU says workers endorse contract extension at West Coast ports

ILWU says workers endorse contract extension at West Coast ports

WASHINGTON: Dock workers at 29 West Coast ports from Bellingham to San Diego have approved a three-year contract extension, according to early results released by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The union said reports from its locals indicate prolonging the contract, due to expire in 2019, was endorsed by two-thirds of voting members. Full results will be reported Aug. 4. The union said the “unprecedented” contract extension with the Pacific Maritime Association “will raise wages, maintain health benefits and inrease pensions.” Details were not disclosed. A statement from the Washington Council on International Trade, representing manufacturers, farmers, retailers and others active in global trade, said that a contract dispute at ports in 2014 and 2015 “cost Washington businesses nearly $770 million in near-term losses alone,” and welcomed the extension “to prevent this kind of catastrophe from ever happening again.”