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

22 Dec 2014
Confirming that eight months into negotiations progress has come to a standstill in West Coast longshore talks, employers on Monday requested federal mediators to enter the negotiations.
19 Dec 2014
Contract negotiations continued Friday between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association. As has been the case since the negotiations began in May, neither side revealed any content from the talks.
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.
Weekly wrap-up for Nov. 22
22 Nov 2014
Another week of the top stories on JOC.com focusing on the crisis-level congestion plaguing U.S. West Coast ports, although one story on Horizon Lines slipped into the Top 10.
21 Nov 2014
Five carriers today joined Mediterranean Shipping Co. in announcing congestion surcharges on cargo heading from Asia to U.S. West Coast ports.
White House
19 Nov 2014
Amid pleas of major shippers for a federal mediator, President Obama says he's confident U.S. West Coast longshoremen and waterfront employers can reach a labor contract.

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.