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

04 May 2021
An ongoing dispute between longshore labor and employers in the port of Charleston, South Carolina, in the wake of the now-ended strike in Montreal, could pale in comparison to a looming confrontation over terminal automation when negotiations begin on a new US West Coast contract next year.
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.
05 Feb 2015
With both the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union trying to avoid an employer lockout or a strike by longshoremen, the fate of the current coastwide negotiations could depend on what is largely a local issue.
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
Amid a flurry of rumors that contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse and the Pacific Maritime Association are in danger of collapsing, PMA CEO James McKenna will hold a teleconference at 2 p.m. Pacific today to update the media on the negotiations.
Capitol building
02 Feb 2015
The U.S. Congress is stepping up its pressure on the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association to reach a “swift resolution” to their 9-month-old contract negotiations.
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.
30 Jan 2015
A key metric of U.S. intermodal rail service continues to show improvement even as volume builds, giving shippers a better shot of seeing the level of service they saw in 2012-2013 as soon as the spring.
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.
28 Jan 2015
The Philippines-based terminal operator ICTSI, which operates the Port of Portland’s only container terminal, said Wednesday it is experiencing even more intensive hard-timing tactics by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union than at other West Coast ports, and continued job actions could threaten the terminal’s viability.
28 Jan 2015
U.S. exports of several agricultural products including pork, beef, poultry, apples and forage products are shrinking, and some export opportunities could be lost permanently because of dockworker slowdowns and the gridlock that has emerged at West Coast ports, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition reports.
27 Jan 2015
Demand for U.S. industrial property will remain strong for at least the next 24 months even though the market for manufacturing and distribution facilities has experienced four years of continuous growth, according to the latest U.S. Industrial Outlook published this week by CBRE Research.
27 Jan 2015
Labor disputes on the West Coast and a recovering national economy sent record-breaking cargo volumes to Georgia ports in 2014.
27 Jan 2015
Congestion on the West Coast, which has led to delays of one to three weeks on nearly all trans-Pacific services, has led carriers to inject significant additional tonnage into the trans-Pacific to maintain a semblance of schedule reliability, Alphaliner said.
26 Jan 2015
Negotiators for the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union reached a tentative agreement on the chassis maintenance and repair issue that has been the major roadblock to reaching a new waterfront contract at West Coast ports.
26 Jan 2015
Congestion and delays at U.S. West Coast ports meant UPS had to scramble to get containerized goods into its inland delivery network and to customers. Higher purchased transportation costs were a factor in lower fourth-quarter earnings.
23 Jan 2015
The Pacific Maritime Association on Friday released detailed accounts of the dramatic drop in longshore productivity at West Coast ports that began in late October and continues to contribute to stifling port congestion.
22 Jan 2015
Union Pacific Railroad said U.S. West Coast port congestion will remain a drag on its volume growth until the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and waterfront employers agree to a contract.
20 Jan 2015
Terminal operators resumed daytime vessel unloading Tuesday after a one-day hiatus, but otherwise it was status quo at all U.S. West Coast ports.
20 Jan 2015
When the longshore contract negotiations are over and productivity has returned to normal, the CEOs of California’s container ports will face even greater challenges dealing with the problems that remain: handling big ships, adjusting to powerful carrier alliances and establishing a new chassis regime.
19 Jan 2015
Some furniture retailers aren’t able to show off their complete lines of products at a major Las Vegas exhibition this week because of U.S. port delays, an example how congestion isn’t just hurting shippers’ current sales but also their future business prospects.
19 Jan 2015
U.S. West Coast marine terminals will suspend vessel operations on all shifts Monday so they can concentrate their resources on clearing containers from the dangerously congested facilities, the Pacific Maritime Association reported Sunday.
16 Jan 2015
Carriers in the eastbound trans-Pacific are leveraging what they think will be strong pre-Chinese New Year volumes to implement a $600-per 40 foot container rate increase set to take effect on Feb. 9. The increase will apply to all origins and destinations, the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a carrier group, said on Friday.
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.
15 Jan 2015
Ships are backing up rapidly at the major West Coast gateways following a decision by employers to stop working vessels at night in order to concentrate on clearing out congested marine terminal yards.
15 Jan 2015
Rep. Janice Hahn said Los Angeles-Long Beach marine terminal operators’ ending of night shifts equates to a “nighttime lockout” of dockworkers. She urged employers to “not act unilaterally and hurt port operations.”
14 Jan 2015
Worsening congestion at Southern California ports is starting to show up in the Federal Reserve’s reports on economic activity across the nation.
14 Jan 2015
The potential impact of a U.S. West Coast port lockout on intermodal service - should it come to that - varies by expert but analysts agree that the railroads will act fast and decisively if it does occur.
13 Jan 2015
Longshore contract negotiations on the U.S. West Coast have degenerated into a war of attrition in which the union’s work slowdowns have significantly increased operating costs for shipping lines and terminal operators, and the employers are countering by reducing work opportunities for rank-and-file longshoremen.
13 Jan 2015
The Port of Prince Rupert says it can handle more diversions of U.S-bound cargo after import traffic jumped 72 percent last month, a likely result of shippers rerouting cargo away from congested U.S. terminals.
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.
09 Jan 2015
A Washington state-based timber company said it will lay off an unspecified number of workers at its Longview liquid packaging site because the labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association has hampered its ability to ship certain products.
08 Jan 2015
The limited attention the contentious labor negotiations and broader port congestion have received within the Beltway speaks somewhat to the disconnect between the freight industry and Washington.
07 Jan 2015
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said the Southern California ports continue to work toward a Feb. 1 roll-out date for a neutral, or gray chassis concept in the busiest U.S. port complex, despite the protracted contract negotiations between the longshore union and waterfront employers.

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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