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.
holiday shopping
14 Nov 2014
Retailers are on the losing end of U.S. port congestion, forced to make costly, last minute transportation decisions because of clogged U.S. West Coast ports cargo delays.
14 Nov 2014
Evergreen is dropping Los Angeles and Oakland port calls from a westbound U.S. East Coast to North Asia service due to berthing delays tied to the congestion at U.S. West Coast ports, the carrier said Friday.
14 Nov 2014
A just-released study commissioned by the Pacific Maritime Association argues that West Coast ports stand to lose significant volumes of cargo in the years following the Panama Canal expansion due to lower freight rates that will be offered on all-water Asia to East and Gulf coast services.
12 Nov 2014
Port disruption tied to West Coast longshore negotiations is obstructing U.S. apple exports at the height of the harvest season and just as the lucrative China market was just re-opened to U.S. apples after two years.
12 Nov 2014
The tinderbox that is West Coast ports caught fire again today when members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union shut down the SSA Marine terminal at the Port of Oakland.

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.