ILA Labor Negotiations

The International Longshoremen’s Association and its employers at U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports are discussing an early, long-term extension of their coastwide contract that expires Sept. 30, 2018. The goal: an agreement that spares cargo interests an experience such as the one they endured during the epic 2012-13 bargaining between the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance. Those negotiations yielded a six-year contract, but only after nearly a year of rocky negotiations and repeated strike threats.

Special Coverage

Union president Harold Daggett takes to Facebook in advance of February meetings.

News & Analysis

16 May 2017
“Bring your cargo, it’s going to be fine.”
Port of Savannah, dockworkers
13 Dec 2012
The common thread running through all labor actions on the waterfront is a realization that technology and automation is changing the workplace union members have known throughout their careers, and some of the high-paying waterfront jobs that have traditionally been passed down from father to sons, daughters and grandchildren may no longer be available to pass on.
Cranes at Port of New York and New Jersey
12 Dec 2012
International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett said a meeting with management negotiators next week on the issue of container royalties will determine whether the ILA carries through on its threat of a year-end strike.
12 Dec 2012
Orient Overseas Container Line today announced that it will implement a “Port Congestion Surcharge” in the event of an International Longshoremen’s Association strike...
Dockworker at the Port of Savannah
12 Dec 2012
A Journal of Commerce survey found that cargo owners are flustered by the eight-day office clerical workers strike last month in Los Angeles-Long Beach, and the possibility of an East and Gulf Coast dockworker strike three weeks from now, but cargo diversion is not an option for many shippers.
11 Dec 2012
Representatives of the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance met in small committees Tuesday to discuss and refine the two sides’ proposals in federally mediated talks.


Typically, once a U.S. longshore negotiation is settled, the affected ports revert to a state of normalcy despite whatever disruption occurred during the talks. U.S. West Coast negotiations over the past 20 years have never been without disruption but were always followed by near-normal operations that lasted in some cases for years. The six years leading up to the June 30, 2014, expiration of the recent agreement between waterfront employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union saw only sporadic disruption. But there is a difference between then and now: The current agreement reached on Feb. 20 failed to resolve all issues and one in particular — chassis maintenance — stands out as holding the potential for sparking further disruption and uncertainty for shippers.