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Barragán, Jayapal Applaud Good Faith Negotiations for West Coast Port Workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     

23 May 2023

Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) sent a letter along with 13 of their West Coast colleagues applauding the Biden Administration and Department of Labor for closely monitoring the contract negotiation process for International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers. The Members commended the Administration for consistently encouraging good faith bargaining and respecting the effectiveness of and right to collectively bargain. These contract negotiations play a vital role in the management of our ports and the transportation of critical cargo throughout our country. 

“My district includes the busiest port in the Western Hemisphere – the Port of Los Angeles. The goods and essentials moved through this seaport impact every Congressional District across the country, and that is made possible by the resilient men and women of the ILWU,” said Rep. Barragán. “Throughout the pandemic and continued supply chain disruptions, the ILWU have moved record-setting cargo volumes, and marine terminal operators continue to profit. The ongoing contract negotiations show promise for a fair agreement that values the contributions of these essential workers.  I appreciate the Biden Administration’s respect for the right to collectively bargain and leadership to promote good faith bargaining between the parties as they come to an agreement on a contract that respects and protects good union jobs, strengthens the supply chain, and supports the American people.”

“The Port of Seattle in my district is a major economic engine, employing more than 2,000 people,” said Rep. Jayapal. “Throughout the pandemic, as our economy nearly came to a halt, our ports and the workers who run them kept our city, our state, and our country moving. I am grateful to see the ILWU working to get these essential workers the pay and benefits they deserve – and I applaud the Biden Administration for taking these negotiations seriously and ensuring that bargaining is done in good faith.”

The ILWU is currently negotiating contracts with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) on behalf of 22,000 longshore workers at 29 ports across the West Coast, pushing for the maintenance of health benefits, among other asks.

The letter was also signed by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), John Garamendi (CA-08), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Katie Porter (CA-47), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Adam Smith (WA-09), and Marilyn Strickland (WA-10).

Read the full letter here.


Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Bellflower, Carson, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Paramount, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, West Carson, and Wilmington. She serves as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Health, Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Minerals Subcommittees.