ILA Labor Negotiations

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

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.
26 Jun 2015
The International Longshoremen’s Association and its East and Gulf Coast employers are exploring a long-term contract extension. Here’s a look back at the bargaining that led to their current six-year agreement.
26 Mar 2015
Members of Baltimore’s largest International Longshoremen’s Association voted to end 18 months of uncertainty b
24 Mar 2015
Several dozen Baltimore dockworkers have filed a lawsuit challenging their national union’s takeover of their local chapter and dismissal of 500 new members before Wednesday’s referendum on a local contract.
20 Mar 2015
The International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance said they “strongly oppose” any attempt to place the longshore industry’s collective bargaining under the Railway Labor Act.
Port of Oakland
18 Mar 2015
Putting waterfront labor under the Railway Labor Act will be a heavy legislative lift with a divided Congress and a union-friendly White House. And, it’s unclear if such a move would prevent “economic warfare” — whether from union slowdowns and the withholding of labor, or employers’ refusal to hire workers.


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.