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

09 Dec 2014
Beneficial cargo owners are still navigating the perils of U.S. West Coast port congestion, as they attempt to bring inventory in for the spring season.
10 Nov 2014
Dockworkers at Los Angeles-Long Beach and Seattle-Tacoma picked up their productivity a bit this weekend, but the situation turned bad in Oakland when members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union walked off their jobs for three consecutive shifts.
Weekly wrap-up: 10 stories on US West Coast ports
08 Nov 2014
JOC.com readers are eating up news emerging from the U.S. West Coast, with all of the Top 10 stories on the site in the past week focusing on congestion and labor issues at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Tacoma and Seattle.
Long Beach dockworker
06 Nov 2014
Fearing that gridlock at the largest U.S. port complex is imminent, the Pacific Maritime Association today blasted the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for withholding skilled labor at Los Angeles-Long Beach.
04 Nov 2014
Shipper frustration with Los Angeles-Long Beach port congestion is rising, with importers and exporters complaining of added costs and making plans to divert cargo away from Southern California.
17 Oct 2014
An on-again, off-again dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and ICTSI, operator of Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland, once again shut down the port’s only container terminal for two days this week.

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.