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.

News & Analysis

Ships at berth at the Port of Long Beach, such as the one pictured, are able to plug into shore-supplied power, which is known as cold-ironing, as part of the port's pollution reduction efforts.
25 Aug 2016
The congestion that crippled West Coast ports in 2015 temporarily derailed the progress in reducing pollution at the Port of Long Beach.
warehouse, distribution center
06 Feb 2015
U.S. retailers’ frustration with West Coast port congestion hit a boiling point on Friday after terminal operators announced they would suspend vessel work over for the weekend, in order to clear mounting backlogs of cargo.
04 Feb 2015
Pacific Maritime Association CEO James McKenna on Wednesday released details of the employers’ contract offer to U.S. West Coast longshoremen, a comprehensive offer the waterfront employer group hopes will head off the need for a lockout or strike by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union during negotiations that appear to be at an impasse.
04 Feb 2015
Growing U.S. West Coast port congestion is getting more attention in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street, as major shippers, including Tyson Foods and Cabela’s, complain about delays and warn about further economic pain if they continue.
30 Jan 2015
Harbor truckers in Los Angeles-Long Beach are preparing to legally challenge the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and marine terminal operators as soon as union mechanics attempt to detain trucker-owned or leased chassis at the ports under a reported agreement the ILWU reached with employers last week in coastwide contract negotiations.
28 Jan 2015
Vessels are backing up at an alarming rate at West Coast ports due to congested marine terminals and work slowdowns by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Commentary

Contract extension talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association must address productivity issues in a serious way so US West Coast ports get somewhere remotely close to the efficiency at other major ports in the world. 

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