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

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.
03 Mar 2015
The third-ranking Senate Republican on Tuesday floated the idea of putting unionized port employees under the purview of the Railway Labor Act, a move proponents say would prevent longshore labor showdowns like those seen seen on the U.S West Coast in recent months.
03 Mar 2015
Shippers who tried to divert their containerized cargo to the U.S. East Coast during the paralyzing port congestion at West Coast ports in the last few months were not always successful because they did not have long-standing relations with carriers serving the East Coast, according to panelists at the 15th annual TPM Conference.
Chicago business
27 Feb 2015
A broad measure of business activity for the Chicago are plunged in February with much of the blame being laid at the door of the West Coast port labor standoff.
25 Feb 2015
Retailers continue to feel the hangover of West Coast port gridlock that will persist for weeks despite tentative agreement on a coastwide longshore labor contract.
25 Feb 2015
WASHINGTON — California Rep. Janice Hahn called on the House Budget Committee Wednesday to increase funding for U.S. ports, which will see financing fall millions of dollars short of targets Congress and the White House agreed on last year.
25 Feb 2015
The credit ratings of major West Coast ports will not be significantly impacted in the short to medium term by the cargo-handling disruptions that occurred during the protracted dockworker contract negotiations, but continued labor problems would cast the ports as unreliable, and would likely lead to permanent cargo diversion, Fitch Ratings stated Wednesday.
25 Feb 2015
Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif., urged the Federal Maritime Commission to investigate the Pacific Maritime Association’s “unilateral” curtailing of night, weekends and holiday hiring of dockworkers during recent West Coast longshore contract negotiations.
25 Feb 2015
North American intermodal volumes plummeted as U.S. West Coast port congestion came to a head last week before union and waterfront officials at last brokered a deal Friday evening.
24 Feb 2015
Most West Coast ports were bustling with activity this week as marine terminals order full vessel, yard and gate work crews, and International Longshore and Warehouse Union dispatch halls are filling all of the orders.
Union Pacific in Alameda Corridor
23 Feb 2015
With U.S. West Coast ports on the road to restoring productivity, the two Western railroads are taking steps to handle an expected increase in international intermodal traffic.
23 Feb 2015
With a tentative contract in hand, West Coast ports are easing their way back into full production, although the performance of longshoremen Monday was not consistent up and down coast, according to the Pacific Maritime Association.
busy Oakland port, November 2014
21 Feb 2015
The tentative coastwide contract agreement that was reached Friday evening by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, while most welcome, is just the beginning of a long process West Coast ports must endure to recover from the backlog of containers and vessels that have overwhelmed their operations the past four months, and to restore their reputation among shippers.
20 Feb 2015
Negotiators for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association have reached a tentative coastwide contract agreement for five years after more than nine months of bargaining.
20 Feb 2015
U.S. intermodal volumes are declining, while Canadian shipments increase, a sign that more shippers are diverting cargo from the U.S. West Coast north to ports in British Columbia.
19 Feb 2015
With West Coast ports reporting plunges in container volumes in January, port executives are becoming increasingly vocal in demanding that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association end the impasse in negotiations that is ravaging their ports.
19 Feb 2015
Wal-Mart brought wider attention to how West Coast port congestion is hurting shippers, saying on Thursday that shipment delays are hurting its business and threaten its spring and Easter inventory.
19 Feb 2015
U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has entered negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, reflecting a ratcheting up of Obama administration pressure on both sides to reach a deal in order to end crippling West Coast port congestion.
18 Feb 2015
The number of loads available for spot dry van tractor-trailers have plummeted at West Coast ports since November, depressing outbound spot truckload rates, DAT Solutions said. A strong rebound is likely when the port labor dispute is resolved and containers start moving.
Rail loading at Port of LA
18 Feb 2015
Shippers could see truck pricing 'skyrocket' as they scramble to move containers inland once the labor situation at U.S. West Coast ports is resolved, BB&T Capital Markets said.
17 Feb 2015
With at least 50 container ships anchored off the West Coast on Tuesday, the eyes of the international trade community were focused on San Francisco to learn if U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez could break the impasse in contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.
17 Feb 2015
U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez’s meetings with West Coast longshore union and employer negotiators have generated hope, skepticism — and questions.
17 Feb 2015
Port of Oakland executives blame a dramatic container volume decline in January on congestion and the inability of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and waterfront employers to agree upon a new coastwide contract.
17 Feb 2015
U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez is scheduled to meet Tuesday with West Coast longshore union and management negotiators in an effort to end a bargaining standoff that’s causing increasing pain across supply chains.
14 Feb 2015
President Obama is sending Labor Secretary Tom Perez to California to meet with International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association negotiators to help them reach a contract as West Coast congestion nears a breaking point.
12 Feb 2015
What is the true impact of the West Coast labor showdown on U.S. agricultural exports? There is controversy over the data.
11 Feb 2015
The Pacific Maritime Association said its members will suspend U.S. West Coast vessel operations on four of the next five days rather than provide longshoremen with holiday or weekend pay for “severely diminished productivity.”
11 Feb 2015
When U.S. West Coast port congestion clears, there are increasing signs that shippers’ frustrations with shipment delays of weeks will spur them to permanently re-route freight through the East Coast, much like they did in 2002 following a 10-day marine terminal lockout.
11 Feb 2015
Demand for extra ships tied to the U.S. West Coast longshore labor showdown is driving up charter rates for certain classes of container ships.
10 Feb 2015
Waterfront employers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are making what could be a last-ditch effort to win the hearts and minds — and pocketbooks — of the ILWU rank and file as coastwide contract negotiations may be hopelessly gridlocked.
10 Feb 2015
The U.S. Congress on Tuesday shone a rare light on growing West Coast port congestion, but despite legislators’ concern that American exports are losing market share as a result, there’s little they can do currently but do what many others have already done many times: urge dockworks and waterfront employers to reach a deal.
09 Feb 2015
Loaded imports through the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex fell by a quarter last month compared to the same period a year ago, reflecting the severity of pain congestion has inflicted on the largest container gateway in the Americas.
09 Feb 2015
U.S. West Coast employers on Monday blasted International Longshore and Warehouse Union negotiators, implying they are holding back rank-and-file members from even voting on what employers consider to be a generous contract over a demand that the ILWU be able to unilaterally fire waterfront arbitrators.
06 Feb 2015
Some 40 container ships were anchored at ports up and down the West Coast on Friday, promising more delays into next week and well beyond that after the Pacific Maritime Association announced on Friday that terminals won’t handle vessels over the weekend in an effort to clear backlogs.
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.
06 Feb 2015
U.S. West Coast container terminals will suspend operations on vessels this weekend, on both day and night shifts, at all ports, as they seek to dig out of the container backlog that continues to choke their operations. Terminals, however, will maintain gate and yard operations at their discretion.

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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