The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

ILWU International President McEllrath: Why we can’t vote Trump

The following message from International President Robert McEllrath is published in this month’s Dispatcher:

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath

You may have heard that I don’t have much patience for politicians, especially ones who want our help when they’re desperate for votes or contributions – then ignore us when we need their support.

I liked [...]


ILWU Local 21 Longshore workers stress safety, camaraderie in shoemaker’s video

A Minnesota-based shoe manufacturer interviewed and filmed ILWU Local 21 Longshore workers for an ad the company is sharing on social media. They highlighted the importance of safety and camaraderie on the docks. See them hard at work on Red Wing’s Facebook page:


Longshore worker hospitalized after containers collapse at Port of Oakland

From NBC Bay Area:

A longshore worker at the Port of Oakland was taken to a hospital Sunday after he was rescued from a vehicle trapped underneath two containers, a port spokesman confirmed.

Just before 9 a.m., firefighters responded to the 1700 block of Middle Harbor Road, the Oakland Fire Department told the East Bay [...]


Maritime community mourns death of longshoreman

Very sad update on the story of Brother Loadholt’s passing in Georgia:

It started as a typical morning on GPA’s Ocean Terminal docks.

Longshoremen, members of ILA Local 1414, were loading vehicles onto the Wallenius Wilhelmsen ship Tiger, which had come in to port overnight.

Operations had been underway about two hours, with longshoremen driving [...]


Longshoreman dies after accident at Georgia terminal

Our condolences go out to our brother’s family, friends and brothers and sisters in ILA Local 1414.

From Savannah Now:

A longshoreman died Wednesday morning when the vehicle he was loading onto a ship jumped off the ramp and fell into the Savannah River at Georgia Ports’ Ocean Terminal.

Local 1414 President Tommy Stokes III [...]


Houston ship channel reopens after fiery incident; crew safe

A one-mile stretch of the Houston ship channel has re-opened after it was closed for 14 hours because of a fire and fuel spill.

The Houston Ship Channel has re-opened to all vessel traffic after an early-morning tanker fire and fuel spill caused it to shut down for 14 hours.

The Coast Guard [...]


No doubt about it: Oil-by-rail is threat

The Olympian published the following opinion piece by Jared Smith, President of ILWU Local 4 in Vancouver, WA:

Jared Smith, ILWU Local 4 President

On this Labor Day, longshoremen look back on a summer that vindicated our opposition to America’s largest proposed oil-by-rail project. After a terrifying oil train derailment in Mosier, weeks of public [...]


Talking with … Harvey Schwartz, a historian who supports workers

Labor historian Harvey Schwartz

Excerpts from J Weekly’s interview with Harvey Schwartz, labor historian and honorary curator at the ILWU International Library:

J Weekly: What’s the importance of the ILWU to the Bay Area?

Harvey Schwartz: After unions were suppressed nationally in the 1920s, it was longshoremen who turned that around in the ’30s [...]


NTSB: 26 hours of information recovered from El Faro’s VDR

From gCaptain:

The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that will be convening a voyage data recorder group to help develop a detailed transcript of the sounds and discernible words captured on the El Faro’s bridge audio, following the recovery and audition of the ship’s VDR.

The voyage data recorder from El Faro, a US [...]


Man crushed by container worked for company with previous workplace violations: OSHA

Jorge Gomez, 51, died Monday at the Norfolk Southern rail yard in Jersey City when a container fell onto the lifting machine he was operating at the time. (Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal)

The ILWU Coast Longshore Division send our condolences to Brother Gomez’ family, friends and colleagues. An Injury to One [...]


Fire at Bunge plant in Saskatchewan

Almost every member of the Nipawin Fire Department and all of its six trucks were called out to a fire at Bunge, just south of Nipawin the evening of Tuesday, August 2.

“It was a fire in the machinery,” said Chief Brian Starkell.

There were no injuries reported. An investigator will be coming up [...]


Maersk upgrades E-class container ships to bolster capacity

Click on the photo to learn more about the 2013 incident at Felixstowe Dockworkers

From The Loadstar:

Maersk Line is upgrading its eight E-class 15,550 teu vessels to load a further 1,300 teu.

Raising the accommodation block and wheelhouse and increasing the height of lashing bridges to take an extra tier of containers is [...]


Labor judge tells Horizon Lines to pay sacked whistleblower US$1 million

From SeaNews:

”When his attempts to alert Horizon Lines to safety hazards onboard the vessel were ignored, ‘Loftus resorted to reporting safety concerns to the regulatory agencies because of Horizon’s consistent failure to correct hazardous conditions aboard the Trader. Loftus was clearly a thorn in Horizon’s side,”’ reported SeaNews.

Horizon Lines has been ordered to [...]


Ship hits wall of Panama Canal, renewing design concerns

The BBC has taken note of the ITF’s concerns about safety on the new Panama Canal locks:

Mechanized ‘mules’ pull ship through the previously existing Panama Canal locks. The new locks do not use mules.

A Chinese container ship has hit a wall of the recently-widened Panama Canal, amid concerns that it has less space [...]


Union and pilot warnings on safety realized in first collision at new Panama Canal locks

Panama Canal leadership had dismissed union warnings on safety for years prior to last month’s opening. Damage to the MV Xin Fei Zhou is shown here.

From an article titled ‘Containership damaged after hitting wall in Panama Canal’s new locks’ at gCaptain:

A neopanamax containership has suffered a gash to its hull after [...]