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Dockworkers threaten to strike

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Admiralty And Maritime Law

Workers in the International Longshoremen’s Association threaten to strike if their employers do not meet demands for better working conditions. The ILA is the largest union of maritime workers in the United States.

Due to the scale of its potential impacts, the strike is receiving attention from many industries.

Potential strike

ILA union members are considering a strike due to concerns about their work conditions, pay and benefits. Dockworkers are especially concerned about the recent trend of dock automation. Dock technology often replaces people, despite a recent study that found 7% to 15% lower productivity at automated ports compared to ones with only human workers.

Contract deadline

Workers threaten to strike as part of a negotiation with the United States Maritime Alliance. Their current contract with this organization will expire on September 1, 2024, and they would like to change many of the contract terms before renewing. The ILA president gave a deadline of May 17 to finalize a new contract.

Consumer impacts

A strike by ILA members could have far-reaching consequences beyond just the ports. It could disrupt supply chains, leading to shortages of goods and higher prices. Businesses that rely on timely deliveries could face challenges and consumers could see delays in receiving products.

Textile industry concerns

Stephen Lamar, President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, recently wrote a letter to President Biden expressing concerns about the potential strike. In the letter, Lamar emphasized the importance of the ports to the economy and urged the President to intervene to prevent a strike. He also highlighted the impact a strike could have on the holiday shopping season.

The threat of a strike highlights the importance of the work done by dockworkers and their need for fair pay and safe working conditions.


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