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.

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.
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.
26 Nov 2014
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association are meeting independently today to consider various issues that have been raised in contract negotiations, although they remain ready to reconvene face-to-face talks in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday if necessary.
08 Jul 2014
Employers at the Port of Baltimore have asked a federal court to force an International Longshoremen’s Association local to pay $3.8 million in damages for a three-day strike last October.
Port of Charleston
24 Jun 2014
International Longshoremen’s Association members at Charleston have authorized a strike, but the union has not attempted to halt work at the port.
30 May 2014
An arbitrator is considering longshore staffing requirements for a semi-automated terminal scheduled to be


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.