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.

Special Coverage

Negotiations are underway for a new contract between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association. This JOC resource provides answers to common questions regarding the negotiations and their potential impact.

News & Analysis

26 Aug 2014
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with grain handlers in the Pacific Northwest, spelling the end to an embittered, two-year battle between the two parties and allowing the union to focus on still-unresolved coastwide container talks.
Hanjin vessel at the Port of Portland, Ore.
04 Apr 2014
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union this past week won several battles in its war against the Port of Portland and terminal operator ICTSI, and it lost a battle.
01 Apr 2014
Port Metro Vancouver is confident that the revised 14-point action plan that convinced truck drivers in late March to end their four-week strike will establish the framework for a long-term solution to the port’s frustrating drayage problems.
01 Apr 2014
WASHINGTON — A group representing agricultural shippers and forwarders has warned members to prepare for labor disruptions and slowdowns at U.S West Coast ports starting in June and to make contingency plans
27 Mar 2014
Striking truck drivers late yesterday reached an agreement with Port Metro Vancouver, the federal government of Canada and the provincial government of British Columbia...
26 Mar 2014
While striking truck drivers in Vancouver waited to hear if the British Columbia legislature will approve a back-to-work

Commentary

As of today, July 30, there is no U.S. West Coast longshore agreement in place, a month after the previous six-year pact expired. In any contract year, the time between expiration and agreement is especially volatile, because the risk of cargo-disrupting labor actions is at its highest. And the risk of disruption isn't diminishing.