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

18 Nov 2015
A top International Longshoremen's Association official said escalating health care costs have complicated efforts to reach a new or extended East and Gulf coast dockworker contract before the current one expires in September 2018.
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.
13 Dec 2014
International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett said the ILA won’t change its contract bargaining process, except possibly to try to reverse the order in which coastwide and local agreements are negotiated.
13 Dec 2014
A second arbitrator has ruled that the no-strike clause in the coastwide master contract the International Longshoremen’s Association ratified last year applies even in ports where bargaining on supplementary local contracts remains incomplete.
Port of New York and New Jersey
10 Dec 2014
David Adam, chief negotiator for U.S. East and Gulf Coast waterfront management, challenged employers and the International Longshoremen’s Association to consider changes to their bargaining process before their next contract expires in 2018.


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.