A labor contract for 22,000 US West Coast dockworkers is about to expire,
leaving the potential to strikes, lockouts, or work stoppages – although both parties
appear ready to prevent such disruptions during the busiest shipping season of the year.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association,
which represents more than 70 companies, began negotiating a new contract
for longshoremen in 29 ports in California, Oregon, and Washington on May 10.