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.

Labor attorney and author Joe Burns outlines NLRB's 'war against ILWU's solidarity unionism'

‘In a nutshell, the NLRB is attempting to financially cripple the ILWU for trying to uphold the ‘work jurisdiction’ clause of their coast-wide agreement.’ — Joe Burns, In These Times

Joe Burns, a former local union president active in strike solidarity, is a labor negotiator and attorney. He is the author of the book […]


Obama confident ILWU-PMA can reach a deal

From the JOC:

A statement from the White House expresses confidence in the ability for both sides to reach an agreement.

Amid pleas of major shippers for a federal mediator, President Obama says he’s confident U.S. West Coast longshoremen and waterfront employers can reach a labor contract.

The White House statement further reflects the […]


'Nobody really knows the damage a West Coast dock dispute could cause the American economy'

Employers seek to turn public opinion against the union by exaggerating damages.

Excerpts from the UK-based Handy Shipping Guide:

So, here we go again, the analysts and experts speaking volumes and saying little as the specter of a West Coast port strike looms, or doesn’t dependent on who you read. The facts are simply […]


ILWU statement: Restricting boat pickets violates free speech rights

Exploiting Taft-Hartley loopholes, the grain elevators created shell companies to try and conceal their own involvement at the spud barges. The Union believes that restricting water pickets violates free speech rights. Photo by OPB.

A U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary ruling Tuesday ordering the ILWU to cease picketing of Tidewater’s spud barges until […]


Labor Health Care Plans May Suffer as Part of Obamacare Implementation

[NOTE: ILWU International President Robert McEllrath was one of three International AFL-CIO Vice Presidents on the Executive Council who voted against supporting the bill.]

It appears one of the surprise losers during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act maybe some of the labor unions that most strongly supported the law. From the Hill:

Many […]


Media says 'scores of strikebreakers ready to replace longshoremen in case of lockout'

In an article called ‘Northwest grain terminal lockout would pit longshoremen against strikebreakers they call scabs,’ the Oregonian writes:

Scores of out-of-state strikebreakers wait on high alert in Northwest hotel rooms, ready to replace longshoremen in case of a lockout at grain terminals.

Three fully crewed, non-union tugboats protected by armed guards stand by, prepared […]


Strike-Affected Organizations Urge Compromise; President Obama ‘Monitoring The Situation’

From the Long Beach Post:

President Barack Obama joined a number of affected organizations and top local officials Monday in urging the two bargaining parties in the ongoing clerical-workers strike at the port of Los Angeles and Long Beach to come to an agreement as quickly as possible.

“I can just tell you that we—and […]


Striking OCU, Employers Agree on Mediation

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce:

Striking office clerical workers and their employers agreed Tuesday to accept federal mediation in an attempt to end the week-long strike that has crippled the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Dozens of trade and transportation groups have pleaded with negotiators to accept mediation in a dispute that […]


Down to Business for ILA, USMX

Excerpts from the Journal of Commerce Magazine:

James Capo has been working for months to calm shippers’ concerns about the impending East and Gulf Coast longshore labor negotiations. The chairman and CEO of United States Maritime Alliance emphasizes that bargaining “is a process … You have to give it time.”

That process will begin this […]


EGT signs ILWU contract ending labor dispute, but County Attorney still prosecuting workers and supporters

ILWU Local 21's 'Welcome to Longview' billboard near the exit to the Port of Longview, WA.

From this month’s Dispatcher:

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, union members, and supporters continue to face trial for exercising their First Amendment Rights to protest during the EGT dispute

When the grain ship MV Full Sources arrived at […]


ILWU Pres. McEllrath: ‘Prepare to take action when EGT vessel arrives’

Click here to download a pdf of this letter.

January 3, 2012

To: All Longshore, Clerk, and Walking Boss/Foreman Locals

Brothers and Sisters:

We are currently engaged in a labor dispute with one of our employers, EGT, in the Pacific Northwest. EGT continues to refuse to return to the negotiating table with Local 21 […]


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 […]