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

Both sides say they're still interested in an early deal, but talk of a 10-year contract has cooled.

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.
28 Dec 2012
UPDATED, 7 p.m. EDT, Friday The union and waterfront employers agreed to extend the ILA master contract through Feb. 6, preventing a threatened strike at ports from Maine to Texas.
28 Dec 2012
The Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt and Dundalk public marine terminals will be open Saturday for the delivery and receipt of cargo if no agreement is reached...
25 Dec 2012
Representatives of the International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance have accepted a federal mediator’s invitation to meet this week in a last-ditch effort to head off an ILA strike at East and Gulf Coast ports.
24 Dec 2012
Hapag-Lloyd is advising customers to avoid delivering reefer exports to inland locations...
23 Dec 2012
East and Gulf Coast ports are clearing cargo from marine terminals in preparation for next week’s threatened dockworker strike as a negotiating standoff continues.

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.