Posted on October 5, 2023
The West Coast dockworkers union is heading to bankruptcy court to protect its finances as it contends with a lawsuit over job actions. According to The Wall Street Journal, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has filed for chapter 11 protection to halt litigation brought by a former terminal operator at Oregon’s Port of Portland.
The ILWU case involves work slowdowns and stoppages at the Pacific Northwest during labor confrontations more than a decade ago. A federal jury has already ruled the ILWU’s actions were illegal, and litigation has dragged on over how much the union owes Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services.
The union is coming off ratification of a six-year contract for about 22,000 workers at 29 ports. Portland largely fell off container shipping trade routes amid concerns including labor strife, although the Columbia River site gained some box volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic as an alternative to congested gateways.