West Coast Labor Disputes

Relations between members of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union and waterfront employers on the U.S. West Coast have heated up over the past couple years, with protests and other actions in the Pacific Northwest and at ports in California.

The two parties are currently in negotiations for a new contract to replace the one slated to expire on June 30, 2014. For our continuing coverage of the negotiations, visit our ILWU Labor Negotiations page.

News & Analysis

Ships at berth at the Port of Long Beach, such as the one pictured, are able to plug into shore-supplied power, which is known as cold-ironing, as part of the port's pollution reduction efforts.
25 Aug 2016
The congestion that crippled West Coast ports in 2015 temporarily derailed the progress in reducing pollution at the Port of Long Beach.
07 Oct 2015
The labor dispute that clogged West Coast ports with containers for months is still shaping freight markets, speakers at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference say, months after a contract was signed and the freight logjam broke.
17 Jul 2015
A union representing machinists is challenging the Long Beach Harbor Commission over a requirement that maintenance and repair work associated with the port’s proposed peak-season chassis pool be performed by International Longshore and Warehouse Union mechanics.
29 Jun 2015
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said Monday that bills before Congress seeking to avoid lengthy negotiations marked by slowdowns and employer retaliation that recently plagued West Coast ports aren’t the answer.
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.

Commentary

Contract extension talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association must address productivity issues in a serious way so US West Coast ports get somewhere remotely close to the efficiency at other major ports in the world. 

More Commentary