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

Dockworker at the Port of Savannah
The new or extended contract being explored by International Longshoremen’s Association and its East and Gulf Coast employers could run until 2025, seven years beyond the current agreement’s 2018 expiration.

News & Analysis

18 Nov 2015
A top International Longshoremen's Association official said escalating health care costs have complicated efforts to reach a new or extended East and Gulf coast dockworker contract before the current one expires in September 2018.
29 Oct 2015
A senior leader of the International Longshoreman’s Association expressed optimism on Wednesday over a multiyear contract extension with East and Gulf Coast employers but said it won’t happen by the end of the year.
24 Jul 2015
Hard to believe, but true: Just three and a half years ago, International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett was in Long Beach, warning the JOC’s Trans-Pacific Maritime conference about “dark clouds” over 2012’s soon-to-begin ILA contract negotiations.
23 Jul 2015
Dennis Daggett, son of International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett, was elected Thursday to the union’s No. 2 post as several other mostly younger ILA officials also were elevated to higher positions.
22 Jul 2015
Congressional proposals to clamp down on longshore unions in reaction to West Coast port slowdowns could backfire, warned the chief attorney for waterfront employers on the East and Gulf coasts.
21 Jul 2015
George Cohen, retired director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, took a curtain call at this week’s International Longshoremen’s Association convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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.


Stephen Knott, general vice president of the International Longshoremen's Association, discusses the union's concerns about the introduction of labor-saving technology at Global Terminal in Bayonne, N
Harold Daggett, new president of the International Longshoremen’s Association, comments on automation, container weights, organizing and cooperation with the ILWU.