WHAT'S IN A NAME? FOR ILWU, IT'S NOT "MEN'

WHAT'S IN A NAME? FOR ILWU, IT'S NOT "MEN'

Strike ''longshoreman'' from the list of acceptable gender-neutral terminology.

The International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union is now the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.The West Coast dockworker union approved the name change at its recent biennial convention in Hawaii. In an announcement, the union noted that the name change keeps intact its widely known acronym, ILWU.

The resolution calling for a name change was proposed by Lila Smith, a rank-and-file delegate from the Seattle local of the ILWU's marine division, the Inlandboatman's Union. She and a co-worker at the Washington State Ferry system drafted the resolution, which was unanimously approved at the convention, the union's highest policy-making body. The IBU division will consider a similar resolution at its own convention in October.

The ILWU's powerful longshore division has made a conscious effort in recent years to recruit more women into its ranks.

A 1983 consent decree in Southern California calls for women to comprise 35 percent of all new dockworkers and marine clerks hired, a goal that has been largely achieved, according to the Pacific Maritime Association. Other ILWU dockworker locals also have strived to increase the number of women in their ranks.

There are 788 full-time women dockworkers and clerks in the 7,976-member ILWU longshore division, the PMA said. Representation by women has been growing fastest at ports in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest, where the most hiring has taken place in recent years.