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.”
20 Sep 2012
Retailers say they welcome the agreement by the International Longshormen’s Associaiton and United States Maritime Alliance.
20 Sep 2012
The International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance agreed to a 90-day contract extension, averting a threatened Maine-to-Texas dock strike at the end of this month.
20 Sep 2012
Trans-Pacific spot rates jumped 8.6 percent this week from last week as U.S. importers scrambled to find space on vessels bound for the West Coast as a precaution against a possible East Coast port strike by the International Longshoremen's Association.
19 Sep 2012
Negotiators for the International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance met Wednesday in Newark, N.J., and planned to return Thursday for a second day of negotiations.
18 Sep 2012
An International Longshoremen’s Association local in Bayonne, N.J., voted to authorize a strike and send pickets to other ports if no contract agreement is reached before the ILA’s current


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.