Assistant Director – CAA – Labor Relations

at Pacific Maritime Association
Location Seattle, Washington
Date Posted September 19, 2022
Category Trades & Services
Job Type Permanent


Put your experience and talents to work in a role with a unique company - the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). PMA is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation that serves as a multi-employer collective bargaining agent for approximately 75 shipping lines, stevedore companies and marine terminal operators at California, Oregon and Washington ports. West Coast port operations (including non-containerized cargo such as bulk and autos) now support 9.2 million U.S. jobs and contribute 12.5 percent of the U.S. GDP.

PMA's primary purpose is to negotiate and administer labor contracts with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) on behalf of the Association's member companies, as well as administrating payroll and certain benefits. Our headquarters and administrative office is located in San Francisco, California, with area offices in Southern California (Long Beach and satellite offices in San Diego and Port Hueneme), the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Oregon and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington), and Northern California (Oakland).


This is a labor relations leadership position, with a prescribed career trajectory, for an individual with exceptional research and communication skills, both oral and written, having strong integrity with demonstrated commitment to career opportunities.

The Assistant Director operates under the direction of the Associate Director of Contract Administration and Arbitration in San Francisco, and in conjunction with the Area Managing Director for the Pacific Northwest. This position will demonstrate knowledge of precedent arbitration awards and agreements and interpret and implement provisions of the ILWU-PMA Pacific Coast Longshore and Clerks Agreement (PCL&CA) and Pacific Coast Walking Boss and Foremen's Agreement (PCWB&FA).

The Assistant Director will work with and assist labor relations staff in the resolution of local and coastwise labor issues; and as necessary assist in the development and implementation of coast initiatives on various contract provisions, including presentations for arbitrations over jurisdiction, implementation of clerk technology, or longshore automation, and assist as required on area appeals and coast referrals/hearings involving the local area issues. Decisions on local issues are made by the local labor relations management team, however, this position will be included in the discussion of local issues so that issues with coastwise implications may be communicated to the Coast office in San Francisco.

The role is responsible for management and implementation of the Framework for Special Agreement on Application of Technologies and Preservation of Marine Clerk Jurisdiction in Portland, Oregon and will direct and coordinate activities consistent with the established procedures and the organization's goals and intentions. This role also will be responsible for managing and implementation of longshore automation projects in accordance with the established procedures and the organization's goals and intentions

The incumbent will communicate with and advise PMA staff and member company representatives concerning all aspects of labor relations issues, with specific knowledge and expertise relative to operational changes and the implementation of new technologies and automation. In addition, the incumbent will do the preparation work and presentations for arbitrations and work with the contract administration and arbitration team on case load management, as well as preparation for contract bargaining working with the Associate Director, CAA, the Area Management team and the Employer Bargaining Committees to establish positions and develop bargaining proposals.

This role will be required to be on-call at times and may be requested to fill in as a dispatch hall observer. The Assistant Director, CAA will also provide support and participate in Joint Labor Relations Committee meetings. The Assistant Director, CAA may be responsible for the oversight and day-to-day administration of a local union. Local. This would include composing an accurate account of Joint LRC meetings in meeting minutes and any related correspondence.


Analyze the collective bargaining agreements and develop interpretation of intent, spirit, and the meaning of the contracts to counsel management in the development and application of the organization's labor relations policies and practices.
Provide an interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement(s) regarding grievances, management practices and other contractual matters.
Represent the organization's position for all issues arising under the Technology Framework.
Write, prepare and present arbitrations at the local and coast level. Assist in the management of arbitration process by working with PMA staff to develop arguments and positions on all matters scheduled for arbitration, with particular oversight for those items with coastwise implications including the Technology Framework.
Write and administer time sensitive communications and meeting events with associated ILWU locals and PMA member companies.
Assist in the development of programs to implement contract provisions.
Develop, through research and planning, labor relations procedures and policies.
Assist area management in achieving Association wide and local labor relations objectives.
Research and assist with the development and the preparation for the negotiation of labor contracts.
Advise the Associate Director, and area management team on Technology Framework and Longshore Automation issues, and partner with the local labor relations staff on other issues to maintain coastwise uniformity on grievances, arbitration, mediation, and related labor relations activities. Some issues do not have coast implications.


Working knowledge of collective bargaining and familiarity with the ILWU-PMA Pacific Coast Longshore and Clerks Agreement and the Pacific Coast Walking Bosses/Foremen Agreement, including dispatching procedures, registration rules, and the relevant grievance procedures.
Demonstrated experience in grievance handling and arbitration skills.
Proven ability to effectively communicate Employer positions on matters related to collectively bargained agreements.
Possess a good understanding of labor and employment law including NLRA, ADA, FMLA, etc.
Possess excellent communication, written, oral, interpersonal and teamwork skills, communicate constructively and confidently, listen openly, and collaborate well with staff and others in different groups.
Convey a professional and positive attitude with action/results orientation to problem solving.
Proven ability and experience in exercising good judgment and discretion in handling confidential materials and matters.
Display flexibility to work effectively in a changing environment and ability to adapt to changes in work environment, work assignments, and/or changes in priorities.
Sustain productivity in a fast-paced environment.
Show facility in multi-tasking to meet multiple deadlines while maintaining vigilant attention to detail and focus on producing accurate and complete information.
Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems.
Ability to utilize complex nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, etc.) to effectively illustrate information for a variety of abstract and concrete variables.


Bachelor's Degree or higher in Business Administration, or relevant area, from an accredited four-year College or University.
Seven or more years of experience in labor relations management, including contract negotiation, arbitration, policy interpretation.
Excellent computer skills and experience using robust systems such as Oracle and software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Ability to use software tools to present data clearly and concisely.

Work Environment

The position is based in Seattle, Washington in the Queen Anne neighborhood conveniently located next to shopping and restaurants with parking onsite. The work environment combines an office setting with some travel outside of the office area to various ports in Seattle, with visits to docks, terminals, and ships. It is occasionally necessary to board ships, in all weather conditions.

PMA offers a fun, flexible, professional, and collaborative environment. This position requires in-person meetings with the union and employers. Hybrid schedules are allowed with the ability to work from home as appropriate.

Work location

301 West Republican Street, Seattle, Washington, 98119


PMA offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits: PPO and HMO options with Aetna and Kaiser. PMA offers a defined contribution plan (401K) with a competitive discretionary employer match that equals 100 % of the first 5% and 50% of the next 10% of eligible pre-tax contributions. In addition, PMA provides tuition reimbursement, company-paid benefits conferences, and certifications.

EEO STATEMENT - PMA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

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