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ILA Labor Negotiations

The International Longshoremen’s Association and its employers at U.S. East and Gulf Coast ports are discussing an early, long-term extension of their coastwide contract that expires Sept. 30, 2018. The goal: an agreement that spares cargo interests an experience such as the one they endured during the epic 2012-13 bargaining between the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance. Those negotiations yielded a six-year contract, but only after nearly a year of rocky negotiations and repeated strike threats.

Special Coverage

No formal proposals yet, but Daggett plans to convene ILA delegates.

News & Analysis

A giant crane awaits a container ship at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
23 Mar 2018
International Longshoremen's Association and United States Maritime Alliance committees report “significant progress” during two days of bargaining on a new master contract that BCOs hope will be settled well in advance of the Sept. 30 expiration.  
09 Mar 2018
Although the International Longshoremen's Association has not had a coastwide strike since 1977, beneficial cargo owners are anxious to have a new agreement in place.
14 Jan 2018
ILA and USMX officials had hoped to agree on a contract extension that would reassure the hundreds of shippers who will attend the JOC’s annual Trans-Pacific Maritime (TPM) conference March 4-7 in Long Beach, California.
07 Dec 2017
A closer look at contract extension talks for the US East and Gulf coasts suggests less cause for alarm.
05 Dec 2017
Hopes are are high among trade participants; shippers would be delighted if a long-term deal is struck, as it would support supply-chain certainty.
06 Oct 2017
Last summer’s contract extension by the ILWU and the PMA increased pressure for an agreement on the East and Gulf coasts.

Commentary

Typically, once a U.S. longshore negotiation is settled, the affected ports revert to a state of normalcy despite whatever disruption occurred during the talks. U.S. West Coast negotiations over the past 20 years have never been without disruption but were always followed by near-normal operations that lasted in some cases for years. The six years leading up to the June 30, 2014, expiration of the recent agreement between waterfront employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union saw only sporadic disruption. But there is a difference between then and now: The current agreement reached on Feb. 20 failed to resolve all issues and one in particular — chassis maintenance — stands out as holding the potential for sparking further disruption and uncertainty for shippers.