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 Jan 2015
Thousands of supporters of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are expected to attend a rally this evening near the Port of Los Angeles to urge waterfront employers to resolve what has become the most controversial issue of West Coast contract negotiations — jurisdiction over chassis maintenance and repair.
Crane operator at the port of Los Angeles
21 Jan 2015
Congestion at West Coast ports is the worst it has been since longshoremen began hard-timing employers in early November, and conditions are expected to worsen as terminal operators and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union use manning issues to see how much pain they can inflict on each other.
Port of Los Angeles
21 Jan 2015
Terminal gridlock and persistent labor issues caught up with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in December as the container volume at the busiest U.S. port complex declined 1 percent compared to December 2013.
16 Jan 2015
A growing number of trade associations that have signed their names to a series of letters calling for a resolution to West Coast longshore talks points to the widening economic impact of port delays that have now lasted for months.
12 Jan 2015
Despite the involvement of a federal mediator in contract negotiations over the past week, West Coast dockworkers are continuing their policy of work slowdowns and the withholding of skilled labor, bringing West Coast ports to the brink of “complete gridlock,” the Pacific Maritime Association said Monday.
12 Jan 2015
Importers and exporters who ship through the Port of Portland, Oregon, will experience higher costs next month because of work slowdowns by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Commentary

The honeymoon in the wake of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service assuming control of the West Coast talks between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and its employers lasted less than a week. If anything, the negotiations have reached a nadir since mediators joined the fray, with both sides engaging in a war of words that has busted wide open a mutual pledge the two sides made when this process began last May not to discuss details of the negotiations.