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.

News & Analysis

A number of issues on both coasts stand in the way of early contract talks between dockworkers and employers that could usher in an unprecedented period of labor peace at U.S. ports.
10 Aug 2016
The International Longshoremen’s Association won't discuss a contract extension until disputes over the current contract are resolved.
Dockworker in Port of Savannah
28 Mar 2013
International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett has written to ILA members, urging them to ratify a six-year contract agreement covering dockworkers at East and Gulf Coast ports.
ILA dockworkers in Bayport, Texas
28 Mar 2013
International Longshoremen’s Association members will vote April 9 on a landmark contract that was starting to look impossible without a strike.
ILA dockworkers in the Port of Savannah
27 Mar 2013
International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett said he plans an aggressive effort to transform the union into a “New ILA” that will cultivate closer links with other unions in the U.S. and abroad.
Maher Terminal, Port of New York and New Jersey
15 Mar 2013
The Port of New York and New Jersey’s unique “continuous operation” system will be replaced by work shifts similar to those of other U.S. ports under the new International Longshoremen’s Association local contract.
15 Mar 2013
The International Longshoremen’s Association and its stevedore employers at 15 U.S. Great Lakes ports have tentatively agreed to a five-year master contract covering breakbulk and bulk grain cargoes.

Commentary

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.