Labor Policies & the National Labor Relations Act


MTOs and Stevedores rely on the ILA and ILWU to provide the valued labor force for the movement of ocean cargo. National labor policy as formulated in the National Labor Relations Act together with its regulations and the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) establish the framework within which management and labor work to achieve productivity.

The CBAs cover a wide range of issues. CBAs govern the work performed as well as the pay and benefits of longshore employees. Labor is represented by the ILA on the East and Gulf Coasts and the ILWU on the West Coast. Employer Associations are formed to negotiate and administer these contracts on behalf of employers because longshoremen work at multiple employers' facilities. The principal employer associations are the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) on the East and Gulf Coast and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) on the West Coast. NAWE is not involved in the negotiation of these Agreements.

NAWE Position

NAWE keeps watch on developments in national policy that might undercut either negotiation or effectiveness of the Agreements. For example, in 2015 Congress considered actions which would have interfered with arms length negotiations between the parties. Also, the negotiated and favorable health plans contained in the CBAs may be subject to taxes under the Affordable Care Act and designated Cadillac Plans. NAWE opposes such measures. NAWE also advances policies that support effective management and safety of the workforce.