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

23 Feb 2017
“Thousands of companies and millions of workers rely on these ports.”
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.
15 Mar 2013
The new International Longshoremen’s Association master contract includes a clause designed to encourage state port autho
14 Mar 2013
The International Longshoremen’s Association has scheduled an April 9 ratification vote on a coastwide master contract that ILA and United States Maritime Alliance officials have agreed upon.
Baltimore dockworkers
13 Mar 2013
The International Longshoremen's Association and United States Maritime Alliance concluded nearly a year of rocky, on-and-off negotiations by agreeing on a six-year contract for East and Gulf Coast dockworkers.

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.