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

Union president Harold Daggett takes to Facebook in advance of February meetings.

News & Analysis

16 May 2017
“Bring your cargo, it’s going to be fine.”
For Shippers, It Could Be Unhappy Holidays
30 Nov 2012
Never mind the fiscal cliff. For container shipping, the U.S. budget impasse has been upstaged by another year-end crisis: the threat of a Maine-to-Texas dockworkers’ strike.
20 Nov 2012
The president of the International Longshoremen’s Association complained that carriers “invest in building new ships at n
20 Nov 2012
Management’s top negotiator in Maine-to-Texas dockworker contract talks said International Longshoremen’s Association leaders have shown an “uncompromising posture” and “view bargaining as a one-way street.”
container lashing work in South Carolina
16 Nov 2012
International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett broke weeks of silence on ILA contract negotiations by warning the union won’t accept caps on container royalty bonuses or cuts to hourly minimums and overtime.
ILA crane worker in Port of New York and New Jersey
07 Nov 2012
Negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and waterfront employers are expected to resume this mo


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.