ILWU Labor Negotiations

ILWU Labor Negotiations

 All eyes are on the U.S. West Coast, where negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association continue despite the expiration of the parties’ current contract. Talks began on May 12 and cover a variety of hot-button issues. For full details, and more information on the tumultuous relationship between dockworkers and the PMA, consult our FAQ.

INFOGRAPHIC: Guide to the ILWU Labor Negotiations

Thumbnail of guide to ILWU negotiations.



Timleline of ILWU-PMA negotiations: 2008 vs. 2014

ILWU-PMA negotiations: 2008 vs. 2014

News & Analysis

24 Jul 2020
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union's (ILWU) letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom compounds worries that have been mounting for over a year surrounding the issue of allowing West Coast terminals to install labor-saving cargo handling equipment.
17 Jul 2019
Three months after a federal court voided the 2018 results of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union’s election of top officers, the union is still awaiting instructions for holding a new election.
Bill would allow California agency to block port automation
03 Jul 2019
A California bill that would allow a state agency to block port automation comes as the ILWU is challenging plans by APM Terminals to automate a 100-acre portion of the Port of Los Angeles’ Pier 400 facility for refrigerated containers.
30 May 2019
Operations at the Port of Vancouver will resume at 4:30 p.m. local time thanks to a tentative new labor agreement between the BCMEA and ILWU Canada.
29 May 2019
Negotiations have resumed between the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) and ILWU Canada, but dockworkers at the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert could still be locked out at 8 am Thursday morning.
10 May 2019
ILWU Canada voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if necessary, but the union and employers have agreed to continuing bargaining until at least the end of May in contract negotiations that have been under way since February 2018.
05 Aug 2017
ILWU three-year contract extension is now official
19 Jun 2016
“Negotiations are more visible now. There is pressure on both sides, and pressure does a lot to get things done,” said Pacific Maritime Association President Jim McKenna.
29 Mar 2016
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association Tuesday entered into formal arbitration over an incident Monday that shut down the largest container terminal in Oakland for one shift.
01 Mar 2016
Agricultural exporters are educating longshore workers and terminals operators at West Coast ports on the extent their showdown caused in 2015 and early 2016, a shipper group head said Tuesday here at JOC’s 16th annual TPM Conference.
27 Jun 2015
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union doesn’t buy ocean carriers’ explanation that they stopped providing chassis to truckers and cargo interests in order to save money, said Bobby Olvera, president of ILWU Local 13 in Southern California.
27 Jun 2015
U.S. agriculture shouldn’t expect dramatic improvements in cargo-handling productivity to come out of the new West Coast longshore contract, said Ed DeNike, chief operating officer at SSA Marine, said the contract itself will not deliver productivity.
19 Jun 2015
Critics of the five-year contract ratified in May by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association say the benefits were weighted heavily in favor of the union, but PMA President Jim McKenna says that wasn’t the case at all.
23 May 2015
The West Coast contract agreement that was ratified Friday by the membership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, while applauded by cargo interests, carriers, ports and truckers, and rightfully so, will have a limited impact on West Coast port productivity and labor relations.
20 May 2015
U.S. West Coast waterfront employers overwhelmingly voted to ratify a five-year contract with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, bringing both sides one step closer to healing the wounds inflicted on shippers during months of congestion.
13 May 2015
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continue to dig out of the vessel backlog that has plagued the largest U.S. port complex since last fall. For the third consecutive day, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported that no container ships were at anchor.
Port of Virginia
13 May 2015
Legislation pushed by the third-ranking Senate Republican aims to keep Congress more in the loop on port congestion flare-ups and gauge how labor negotiations impact port performance.
06 May 2015
Port congestion and labor issues took a toll on West Coast port volumes in 2014, as West Coast ports lost market share and East Coast ports gained market share, according to a report by CBRE Americas Research.
04 May 2015
Seattle and Tacoma took a big hit in the first quarter as its market share among Canadian Pacific Northwest ports took a dive amid longshore labor disruption.
20 Apr 2015
Container volumes at the Seattle-Tacoma gateway in March surged by 21 percent compared to March 2014, demonstrating that the Pacific Northwest ports are quickly recovering from the port congestion that accompanied four months of work slowdowns.
16 Apr 2015
Container volumes at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach came roaring back in March, with the largest U.S. port complex reporting a 24 percent increase in container traffic compared to March 2014.
07 Apr 2015
Hamburg Süd led the container shipping industry in on-time service in February, putting an end to Maersk Line’s six-month hold on the top spot, according to SeaIntel Maritime Analysis.
07 Apr 2015
East Coast containerized imports in February almost reached parity with West Coast imports, demonstrating the profound shift in trade that has resulted from port congestion and work slowdowns by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union at West Coast ports. The coming months will determine how much of the shift will be permanent.
Lululemon store
06 Apr 2015
Shipment delays through U.S. West Coast ports, compounded by severe late winter weather, cost some retailers sales in recent months, but they believe the worst is over and say inventory levels are returning to normal.
03 Apr 2015
U.S. West Coast shippers are taking a much-needed sigh of relief after International Longshore and Warehouse Union delegates voted in favor of recommending the tentative five-year agreement with waterfront employers to rank-and-file members.
28 Mar 2015
Ninety International Longshore and Warehouse Union coastwide caucus delegates on Monday will open meetings in San Francisco that will determine the fate of U.S. West Coast ports for the next five years. The caucus will recommend approval or rejection of the tentative ILWU-Pacific Maritime Association contract.
24 Mar 2015
If the leadership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is going to convince the union rank and file that the tentative contract agreement is a good deal for the general membership, the officers will have to fend off a concerted effort by militant members and retired members of the ILWU to jettison the deal.
Bobby Olvera
24 Mar 2015
International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 13 President Bobby Olvera told the Long Beach Harbor Commission that dockworkers are committed to clearing out the worst container backlog to hit the Southern California ports in more than a decade, and wants to see the reputation of the ports restored.
20 Mar 2015
Nike had a strong winter in North America thanks to robust consumer demand, but it would have had an even better one were it not for the West Coast labor standoff.
Port of Oakland
18 Mar 2015
Putting waterfront labor under the Railway Labor Act will be a heavy legislative lift with a divided Congress and a union-friendly White House. And, it’s unclear if such a move would prevent “economic warfare” — whether from union slowdowns and the withholding of labor, or employers’ refusal to hire workers.
16 Mar 2015
The tentative West Coast waterfront contract that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will vote on next month includes plenty of perks for the union and could revolutionize how day-to-day disputes on the waterfront are adjudicated.
12 Mar 2015
Terminal operations up and down the West Coast were in start and stop mode this week in attempting to recover from the backlogs that built up during the tense longshore labor standoff that ended with a tentative agreement between labor and management on Feb. 20th.
SSA Marine terminal
11 Mar 2015
The largest container terminal at the Port of Oakland was shut down at noon Wednesday when, according to management, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 attempted to unilaterally impose manning requirements.
Port of Savannah
06 Mar 2015
The International Longshoremen’s Association said it will not undermine the International Longshore and Warehouse Union by seeking cargo diverted to East and Gulf Coast ports by the recent West Coast contract standoff.
Port of Oakland
06 Mar 2015
After two weeks of working all-out to clear its worst congestion problem since 2002, the Port of Oakland on Friday reported reduced vessel backups and yard congestion, improved truck transaction times and better terminal productivity.
04 Mar 2015
An East Coast dockworker Wednesday shocked importers and exporters that use West Coast ports by saying something completely opposite of what they have experienced from West Coast longshoremen the past four months.

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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