ILWU Labor Negotiations

All eyes are on the U.S. West Coast, where negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association continue despite the expiration of the parties’ current contract. Talks began on May 12 and cover a variety of hot-button issues. For full details, and more information on the tumultuous relationship between dockworkers and the PMA, consult our FAQ.

ILWU-PMA negotiations: 2008 vs. 2014



News & Analysis

27 Jun 2015
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union doesn’t buy ocean carriers’ explanation that they stopped providing chassis to truckers and cargo interests in order to save money, said Bobby Olvera, president of ILWU Local 13 in Southern California.
27 Jun 2015
U.S. agriculture shouldn’t expect dramatic improvements in cargo-handling productivity to come out of the new West Coast longshore contract, said Ed DeNike, chief operating officer at SSA Marine, said the contract itself will not deliver productivity.
19 Jun 2015
Critics of the five-year contract ratified in May by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association say the benefits were weighted heavily in favor of the union, but PMA President Jim McKenna says that wasn’t the case at all.
23 May 2015
The West Coast contract agreement that was ratified Friday by the membership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, while applauded by cargo interests, carriers, ports and truckers, and rightfully so, will have a limited impact on West Coast port productivity and labor relations.
20 May 2015
U.S. West Coast waterfront employers overwhelmingly voted to ratify a five-year contract with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, bringing both sides one step closer to healing the wounds inflicted on shippers during months of congestion.
13 May 2015
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continue to dig out of the vessel backlog that has plagued the largest U.S. port complex since last fall. For the third consecutive day, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported that no container ships were at anchor.


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.

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