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.

Longshore union takes message on the road

From the Capital Press:

Several representatives of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have recently gone on “road trips” to rural communities in Washington and Montana to protest the grain handlers’ actions and try to win favor with farmers.

Along the way, they’ve picketed grain elevators owned by Columbia Grain, United Grain and Louis Dreyfus.



Proposed WA tax increase threatens cargo and jobs

The following opinion piece is co-authored by ILWU Local 23 President Scott Mason and Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe:

Unfortunately, as if the competitive threats from other ports aren’t enough, we now face a new threat from within our own state.

The Legislature has introduced a dramatic increase in the state business and occupation […]


Family of fallen longshore mechanic says he was 46-year-old father of one

Earlier today, we did not publish the name of our union brother who died on the job at the Port of Tacoma. His family has now done so in the News-Tribune:

UPDATE: The man’s family has identified him as 46-year-old Jeff Surber of Bonney Lake.

The 46-year-old Bonney Lake man had been an “A” member […]


Grain and Greed in the Northwest

Collective bargaining negotiations are underway in the Northwest between the ILWU and grain industry giants. Here’s the background in the ILWU Dispatcher:

Grain is the new gold for multinationals eager to move valuable cargo for a healthy profit.

Global grain giants, 80 years into contract, try to squeeze longshore workers

Wheat-based bread on Japan’s […]


Video: ILWU supports Maritime Union of New Zealand

In this 2-minute video, ILWU Local 23 President Scott Mason tells of ILWU’s recent trip to New Zealand to support the Maritime Union of New Zealand, and why the fight at the Ports of Auckland matters to dockworkers around the world. Click on the image to watch the video.



Tacoma on watch for bad ship containers

The News Tribune and the Olympian report that the new protocol requires screening the records of all the containers aboard a ship several days in advance of its arrival. All containers that have moved through Vietnam this year are subject to close inspection of their records. And units that have undergone maintenance there get […]


Tote honors Tacoma’s Bob Magee

Legendary maritime and community leader Robert P. Magee was honored Sept. 21 with the naming of Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc’s Tacoma terminal in his memory. The Robert P. Magee Terminal dedication ceremony was attended by about 150 industry and community leaders, extended family members, TOTE customers and employees who gathered to pay tribute to […]


Longshore Workers Thresh Grain Shipper, Block Train

The following is excerpted from a Labor Notes article written by Evan Rohar, a former casual in Tacoma:

As Dr. King wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, “There are two types of laws: just and unjust. One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

EGT started the fight by suing the Port […]


Striking Longshoremen Block Mile Long Train, Protesting Scab Labor

Last week's train blockade by 600 longshore workers in Longview harkens back to 1934, when Seattle longshoremen blocked a train at Smith Cove. In that strike during the union's formation, 250 police officers yielded batons, tear gas and shotguns against the strikers.

“EGT would like to be the Walmart […]


Union longshoremen rally at EGT Development offices in Portland

ILWU International Vice President Ray Familathe speaks at the ILWU rally at EGT offices in Portland. Bill Wagner photo.

Excerpts from the Daily News in Longview:

More than 1,000 union longshoremen and supporters rallied outside the headquarters of grain company EGT Development Friday afternoon, demanding the company hire union labor to operate the grain […]


Local 23 president wins Master Mariner Award

Scott Mason, president of Tacoma Local 23 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, was named Master Mariner of the Year by the Tacoma Propeller Club at its Wednesday Maritime Day luncheon.

“This award recognizes Scott for his continued and strong support of our overall maritime industry,” said Rockney Nigretto, past international president of the […]


Japan quake hasn’t hurt Port of Tacoma yet

Pre-quake photo of "K" Line ship arriving in Tacoma

The flow of commerce between Japan and the Port of Tacoma thus far remains unaffected despite the earthquake disaster that struck the island nation March 11 and the continuing struggle to gain control of an errant nuclear power plant.

Scott Mason, president of Tacoma’s Longshore […]


A labor of love

Longshoremen used a rope sling to haul cargo from ships before the docks used mechanized cranes in the 1940’s. Photo courtesy of ILWU Local 23 and Dr. Ron Magden.

In anticipation of Local 23’s celebration next week of 125 years of unionism on the Tacoma waterfront, the Tacoma Weekly published an article from which […]