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.

Special Coverage

Workers in Oakland
West Coast employers in 2014 are bracing for what could be the most frustrating contract negotiations they’ve had with the powerful International Longshore and Warehouse Union in decades.

News & Analysis

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.
03 Oct 2013
Several members of Congress have asked U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to use the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement talks to help resolve the months-long lockout of International Longshore and Warehouse Union grain workers in the Pacific Northwest by two Japanese grain conglomerates.
08 Sep 2013
The county prosecutor in Vancouver, Wash., will not file charges against a longshoreman accused of intentionally damaging machinery at the United Grain export terminal.
Port Freeport dockworker
05 Sep 2013
The AFL-CIO and its Maritime Trades Department are quite willing to help longshore unions resolve jurisdictional issues on the waterfront, but only if the dockworkers remain part of the umbrella organization, MTD President Mike Sacco said Thursday.
Port of Tacoma dockworkers
30 Aug 2013
Fed up with a perceived lack of support from the AFL-CIO during its many recent jurisdictional disputes, one of the organization’s most powerful members, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, is pulling out of the umbrella labor organization.
30 Aug 2013
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union will take to a federal appellate court its jurisdictional battle over the handling of refrigerated containers at the Port of Portland, the ILWU stated in a press release.

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Commentary

It would be naïve to think the ILWU’s reputation with customers will drive its negotiating posture next year, especially when there are issues near and dear to the union’s heart that could take center stage, and possibly lead to trouble. One such issue is jurisdiction.