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A 21st Century ILA: Blueprint For A Strong Union

Eleven years ago the LWC distributed "A 21st Century ILA: Blueprint For A Strong Union." At the time the leadership of the ILA mimicked the language and paid lip service to the plan. In the intervening 11 years nothing much has changed with the ILA. The multiple salaries of our officers have continued to increase. (Good to see at least some folks in the ILA have kept ahead of inflation.) There is still no organizing or research department. Still no national defined benefit pension. Still no unified response when an industrial killing occurs on our docks. Still no real raises. Just one lazy insanely long contract extension after another.

Much of the plan is still excellent. However there were some serious omissions that we will address. On this page we will restate the plan and expand on it.

Our Fight for a Strong Union: Introductory Statement

To build a powerful union and improve standards, the ILA needs:

  1. A Strike and Fight fund to support ILA members mobilizing to win improved standards and new work.

  2. Concrete national bargaining goals and a mobilizing plan for improving ILA standards and organizing new ILA members.

  3. An International structure that includes organizing, mobilizing, communication, research and democracy to support our organizing.

  4. An ILA plan for worker justice that builds allies for the union and counters growing anti-union, anti-worker attacks.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Crisis - Challenges Confronting the ILA

Growing Non-union, Non-ILA Work in our jurisdiction


Concessionary Bargaining and the Crisis of Local Benefit Funds

Anti worker attacks

Internal disorganization

Part 2: The Plan to Win: Harnessing Longshore Power

Prepare to Strike!

Concrete ILA Bargaining Goals and Mobilizing Plan

New ILA Structure

Solidarity Forever: the ILA's Fight for Worker Justice