West Coast Labor Disputes

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

29 Aug 2014
Despite the lack of a new West Coast labor contract two months after the expiration of the last agreement, the threat of work stoppages to peak-season merchandise is rapidly receding, according to a retail industry consultant.
12 Aug 2014
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union late Monday, Aug. 11, reached a tentative agreement with grain terminals in the Pacific Northwest, potentially ending two years of lockouts, picketing and interruptions in U.S. grain exports.
Weekly wrap-up for August 9, 2014
08 Aug 2014
Troubles in the Pacific Northwest dominated the news this week.
Portland's Terminal 6
08 Aug 2014
The operator of Portland’s only container terminal charged this week that crane productivity hit a new low of 7.5 moves per hour because International Longshore and Warehouse Union members are stepping up their hard-timing tactics now that there is no longshore contract in effect.
08 Aug 2014
Despite pleas for relief, the United Grain Corp.
Clear sailing
27 Jul 2014
Even though it now looks like it will be sometime in August before a new agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and employers is in place, no one is panicking and tensions appear low. Why?

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.