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.

News & Analysis

05 Aug 2017
ILWU three-year contract extension is now official
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
Some West Coast employers are appealing directly to working longshoremen to scrutinize the details of the Pacific Maritime Association’s contract proposal, with the implication that they should not let this offer slip away because they won’t receive a better one.
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.
Port of Los Angeles, idle cranes
13 Feb 2015
The Obama administration is under growing pressure to prod negotiators to reach a deal on a West Coast labor contract, and to intervene if the ports’ months-long congestion keeps edging toward a total shutdown.


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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