International Longshore and Warehouse Union May Face Bankruptcy

This has been reprinted from the Feb. 6 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has stated it may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The announcement follows a Federal jury award of $94 million in a lawsuit against ILWU—a sum far exceeding the union’s $20 million in declared assets.

In a February 14 hearing, ILWU attorneys will try to convince U.S. District Judge Michael Simon to reduce the award.

Currently, ILWU workers handle every shipping container crossing West Coast docks.

As a result of this financial burden, employers hope ILWU will consider the implications of future work slowdowns and other transportation-disrupting tactics.

In early January, SM Lines restored service to the Port of Portland where container movements have been dormant for 4 years.

Approximately 63 percent U.S. containerized grain exports move through West Coast ports.