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 Terminals, Port of New York and New Jersey
21 Jan 2013
The International Longshoremen’s Association and employers will resume bargaining Tuesday on New York-New Jersey port issues that may pose the toughest challenge to settlement of an East and Gulf Coast dockworker contract.
Container yard hustler at North Carolina Ports Authority
17 Jan 2013
A federal mediator said three days of bargaining on an East and Gulf Coast dockworker contract yielded progress and that the International Longshoremen’s Association and employers have agreed to continue negotiations.
15 Jan 2013
The International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance held a full day of contract negotiations
ILA dockworkers in Jacksonville
14 Jan 2013
International Longshoremen’s Association negotiators apparently plan to stay longer at this week’s negotiations on a coastwide contract than they did last week when they cut short bargaining on New York-New Jersey local issues.
11 Jan 2013
Hapag-Lloyd has revised the application date of the congestion surcharge that it plans to apply in the event of an International Longshoremen’s Association strike.

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.