International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO Announces It Is Disaffiliating With Maritime Labor Alliance, Citing Failure By Leadership To Follow Group’s Original Mission

NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (September 12, 2019) The International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO is disaffiliating with the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA), an organization it helped create seven years ago that brought together six national maritime unions who pledged to collectively promote maritime solidarity against attacks on jurisdiction; strengthen its collective bargaining position with maritime labor employers and be the voice for all maritime workers.

Citing a failure by the current MLA leadership to follow through on the organization’s original mission, ILA President Harold Daggett announced today that his union was disaffiliating with the Maritime Labor Alliance.

“When I created the MLA in 2012, the maritime labor organizations that were part of the original group saw MLA as a powerful alliance of maritime unions to have a strong, united voice for all its members, a voice for maritime workers that was not being heard by the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO,” said ILA President Harold Daggett. “I am sorry that MLA has ultimately failed being that voice. Cracks in solidarity have increased and the MLA leaders have failed to establish dialogue and meetings with our maritime employers to demonstrate the collective power of MLA’s affiliated unions.

“The ILA will not be part of an organization that fails to protect and stand with all its members,” continued ILA President Daggett. “Internal disputes are common with most organizations, but they can usually be addressed and corrected. That has not happened at MLA, where instead, the organization is floundering with weak leadership and is not helping maritime members.”

In 2012, the ILA was joined by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU); International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (IOMM&P); Marine Engineers’ Benevolent Association (MEBA); Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU); and American Radio Association (ARA) to create the Maritime Labor Alliance. A driving force for many of the six original member unions to form MLA was the failure of the Maritime Trades Department of the AFL-CIO to protect some maritime labor unions from raiding by other MTD affiliated unions.

In addition to its affiliation with the AFL-CIO, the ILA is also affiliated with the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO; Canadian Labor Council; and the world-wide labor organizations – International Dockers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). Last year, the ILA successfully negotiated a six-year Master Contact with United States Maritime Alliance that included generous increases in wages for its members and landmark protections against fully automated ports and equipment.

This past July, ILA President Harold J. Daggett was unanimously re-elected to a third four-year term as International President and his entire slate of officers were also re-elected unanimously to four-year terms.

The ILA represents waterfront workers at major port areas from Maine to Texas; Great Lakes region; US and Canadian Rivers; Eastern Canada and Puerto Rico.