Pension Issue Weighs Heavy At Port Talks

November 13, 2002 ( - The International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) is looking for more than the 25% pension benefit increase offered by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

With the November 1 st tentative agreement behind them for use of technology on the docks, the two sides are now focused on pension benefits increases, as contract talks resumed.

The PMA, who represents shipping and terminal operators, has offered to increase retiree pension benefits 25% over the next five years, and calls their offer “more than generous”, according to a separate Reuters report.

The ILWU, who represents 10,500 dockworkers, wants a larger increase in exchange for computerized equipment that will make the ports more efficient but eliminate union jobs.  

No specifics to how large an increase they are demanding have been mentioned.   Both sides have been asked by a federal mediator not to discuss the details of the negotiations with members of the media.