Mr. Harold J. Daggett
International Longshoremen’s Association
Harold J. Daggett has served as International President of the International Longshoremen’s Association since his election in July 2011. He was recently (July 2023) re-elected to his fourth four-year term as the leader of the 85,000-member International Union.
Only the ninth international president in the ILA’s 131 years of existence., Mr. Daggett serves as chief negotiator for ILA members and has successfully negotiated two landmark six-year agreements with United States Maritime Alliance and is credited with bringing increased employment and stability for his ILA members, and growth for the industry at all ILA ports. The ILA represents waterfront workers and other crafts at port areas from Maine to Texas, Great Lakes region, Puerto Rico, major U.S. Rivers and Eastern and Central Canada and the Bahamas.
A third generation ILA member, Mr. Daggett followed in the footsteps of his father and namesake, Harold Daggett, Sr., who worked in the ILA industry for 57 years. Mr. Daggett himself is now a veteran of 56 years with the ILA, having first joined ILA Local 1804-1 following an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1967, where he served in Vietnam in the mid-1960s. The current ILA president was born in West Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan, New York and spent his boyhood years in Woodside, Queens. Mr. Daggett studied at Cardinal Farley Military Academy in upstate New York, from which he graduated from prior to joining the U.S. Navy.
He began his ILA career as a mechanic with Local 1804-l and eventually worked his way up to foreman. For 11 years, he was with Sea-Land Services until his appointment in 1980 as Secretary-Treasurer and Business Agent ILA Local 1804-1.
He was later re-elected six times to that post, while also serving terms as Secretary-Treasurer of the New York-New Jersey District Council. In 1998, he was elected President of ILA Local 1804-1.
Daggett’s responsibilities with the ILA were expanded in 1991 with his election as Secretary-Treasurer of the Atlantic Coast District. He was later reelected ACD Secretary in 1995 and 1999.
After leading ILA Local 1804-1 as president for 14 years, Harold Daggett stepped down as president of ILA Local 1804-1 in September 201l. His home local honored his long association and service by electing him President Emeritus of ILA Local 1804-1 in 2011.
For 12 years prior to his election as International President in 2011, Daggett served as an ILA Executive Officer: eight years as Assistant General Organizer and the four years as Executive Vice President. His long tenure in the ILA has allowed President Daggett to work closely with three of the International Presidents who preceded him – Thomas W. (Teddy) Gleason, John Bowers, and Richard P. Hughes.
Within his first seven years as International President, Harold Daggett negotiated two major contracts that keep ILA members among the best compensated blue-collar workers in America. He considers one of his signature achievements in each of these Six-Year Master Contract Agreements, to be protecting ILA members jobs and futures by blocking any ILA ports from the ravages of automation. Convincing his management counterparts, President Daggett has promoted men over machines and pledged that ILA workers would always out-produce automated equipment.
During his twelve years as International President, Mr. Daggett sought to increase the ILA’s presence and influence on the International Maritime and Dockworkers stage. He immediately had the ILA affiliate with the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) in 2011, bringing the force and solidarity of 140,000 dockworkers representing ports in five continents. He strengthened existing affiliations with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO and the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO.
The International Maritime Community has recognized President Daggett for his outstanding tenure as the leader of the ILA with some of the industry’s top honors. Most recently in October 2022, Mr. Daggett received the Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award (AOTOS) to go along with his induction into the International Maritime Hall of Fame and the Man of the Year from the New York – New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association, the latter two occurring in 2019.
In October 2013, the ILA’s Alexander Talmadge-Edward L. Brown, Sr. Civil Rights Committee honored him at the organization’s first Dinner celebration. In 2015, Mr. Daggett was the Guest of Honor at the Foreign Commerce Club Annual Dinner.
In June 2015, Mr. Daggett was honored by the New Jersey AFL-CIO as its Outstanding Labor Leader.
In his childhood, Mr. Daggett distinguished himself in scouting, first as a Cub Scout and later as a Boy Scout with Troop 127 in Queens. In his adult life, Mr. Daggett was honored by the Greater New York City Council, Boy Scouts of America with their prestigious Good Scout Award. He was a standout basketball player in high school.
Mr. Daggett studied at Cardinal Farley Military Academy in upstate New York, from which he graduated from prior to joining the U.S. Navy.
Mr. Daggett has been a member of numerous labor and maritime committees. He has served as a Wage Scale delegate for his local since 1981.
In May 2023, he co-chaired the 30th Annual ILA Children’s Fund Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Fund Charity Golf Outing and raised more $500,000.00 for the summer residential camp for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Through his local leadership, Mr. Daggett and the members of Local 1804-1 have raised more money for the ILA Children’s Fund, than any other local in ILA. Mr. Daggett is actively involved in other charities, including Toys for Tots and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
The father of three children—Lisa, Dennis, and John—Harold resides in Sparta, New Jersey. He also has six grandchildren and two great grandsons.