Labor Relations Associate - Oakland

Job Title:                    Labor Relations Associate

Department:               Labor Relations

Location:                    Northern California / Oakland, CA

Reports To:               Area Associate Director

FLSA Status:             Exempt

 (This is not a dockworker position. It is not covered by the contracts negotiated between the ILWU and PMA.)

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 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, with satellite offices in Port Hueneme and San Diego) and the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Oregon and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington) in addition to Northern California (Oakland).



Reporting to the Area Associate Director, the Labor Relations Associate will require a proficiency in labor contract administration, which may include negotiations, benefits administration, forecasting manpower needs, grievance investigation and resolution, including arbitration.



  • Assist in analyzing collective bargaining agreements and interpretation of intent, spirit, and terms of contract to counsel management in development and application of labor relations policies and practices.
  • Collaborate on preparation of statistical reports of types and frequency of actions taken concerning grievances, arbitration, mediation, and related labor relations activities, to identify problem areas.
  • Coordinate and produce routine reports from PMA databases for Area Office.
  • Develop working knowledge of the terms of the labor contract to monitor the day-to-day implementation of policies concerning wages, hours, and working conditions.
  • Assist in the investigation of complaints of violations against longshore workers. Report on findings and provide recommended actions.
  • Furnish reference documents and statistical data concerning labor legislation, labor market conditions, prevailing union and management practices, wage and salary surveys, and employee benefits programs for labor contract negotiations.
  • Provide support to and participate in Joint Labor Relations Committee meetings.
  • Other duties may be assigned.



To perform the job successfully, the candidate must be knowledgeable and capable in the following areas:

  • 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.
  • Demonstrate practical knowledge of the ILWU-PMA Pacific Coast Longshore and Clerk Agreement and the Pacific Coast Walking Boss/Foreman Agreement, dispatching procedures in the relevant port areas.
  • Display integrity and work ethic beyond reproach, and take ownership for meeting the goals and objectives of the department/organization.
  • 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.
  • Show facility in multi-tasking to meet multiple deadlines while maintaining vigilant attention to detail and focus on producing accurate and complete information.
  • Possess strong organizational and analytical skills in managing to daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual deadlines.
  • Display strong initiative for own technical development including learning from others about the nuances of the organization’s operational activities and industry.
  • Excellent attention to detail with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Ability to handle multiple demands; and prioritize workload; establish and maintain positive, cooperative, and productive working relationships.
  • Extensive and 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.



  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, industrial relations or political science from a four year college or university preferred.  Juris Doctorate degree a plus.
  • Three to four years direct industry experience with emphasis in Labor Relations is preferred. 



  • Must be able to work and sit at a computer terminal for an extended period of time.
  • Must be able to lift up to 5 lbs.
  • Must be able to crouch, bend and reach on a daily basis.
  • Must be able to climb ladders/gangways, etc. for on the job dispute resolution.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.



Position is based in downtown Oakland, CA conveniently located close to public transportation.  The work environment combines an office setting with frequent travel outside of the office area to various ports in Northern California, with visits to docks, terminals and ships. It is occasionally necessary to board ships, in all weather conditions. 

A valid state Driver’s License and reliable transportation are required for this job.

Pacific Maritime Association is an equal opportunity employer.


Internal Candidates should apply to:

External candidates should apply to: