Strike of 1971


OCT 1970

30  ILWU Longshore caucus in San Francisco ends after final formulation of contract demands

NOV 1970

13  ILWU submits proposal for new contract. $1 per hour increase during each year of a two year contract ; 40 hour work or pay guarantee; $500 per month pension ; 10 paid holidays ; all waterfront work ; plus extensive welfare coverage.

*16  The 1st Negotiating session, held in San Francisco at PMA Headquarters, opened on new labor agreement to replace a five year contract that was to end on 30 June 1971.

DEC 1970

   Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 7, 9, 10 and 15.

7 PMA answers the ILWU’s proposal of 13 November noting that the Guarantee Wage demand appears to be the most important item.

JAN 1971

  No Negotiations

FEB 1971

   Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 3, 4, 8, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26.

16  PMA submits proposal to ILWU for new contract.

MAR 1971

   Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 2, 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 26, 29, 30 and 31.

APR 1971

   Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates:
1, 5, 7 and 8.


 PMA offers ILWU the following wage increases : 1st year $ .385; 2nd year $ .255 ; 3rd year $ .255. Included in the offer was a skill differential increase of $ .028 and 4 paid holidays.


 Union refuses to handle containers in Bay Area that are stuffed by other than ILWU.

11  The dispute that began on April 8 was resolved when PMA agreed to set up a fact finding team and that the recommendations be acted upon under the CFS agreement , Section 1.52.

MAY 1971

   Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 5, 6 and 7.

JUN 1971

   Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 3, 4, 7, 28, 29, 30.


 Longshoreman begin selective work stoppages in Oakland over CFS work.

12  “Freez-out” tactic in Bay Area begins on grounds Local 10 members violated arbitrator Fairley’s order not to interfere with steady men while the issue was being negotiated.

9  PMA agrees to abide by point 1 of the Fairley Award No. 62-71. Work resumed with the second shift. If 9.43 men who were ordered from their homes did not report, no work was to be performed.

28 PMA presents 1st offer prior to contract expiration. Wage increases were as follows : 1st year $ .50; 2nd year $ .35; 3rd year $ .50. Included in the offer was a skill differential increase of 33%, four paid holidays, and a 35 hour guarantee for A men.

29 The ILWU submits "STRIKE Position" to PMA. A two year contract with 1st year wage increase of $ .85 a second year increase of $ .75, 10 paid holidays, 40 hour guarantee for A men and 35 hour guarantee for B men.

30 Negotiations end. 1966-1971 labor contract between PMA and ILWU expires.

JUL 1971

*1 STRIKE BEGINS. For the first time in 23 years all 56 Pacific Coast ports are shut down.

AUG 1971

  Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 25, 26, 28 and 30.


 Proposed meeting between West Coast Governors and PMA and ILWU representatives postponed indefinitely.


 President Nixon imposes WAGE/PRICE Controls.

26 ILWU submits position for "resumption of work". 1st year wage increase $1.00, 2nd year wage increase $.75, 40 hour A man guarantee, 32 hour B man guarantee, 10 paid holidays.

SEP 1971

  Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29 and 30.

15 Mr. Curtis S. Counts, Director, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service joins negotiations at the direction of President Nixon. Counts participates in negotiations until 4 October 1971.

26 President Nixon meets with the spokesman for the two sides in Portland, Oregon.

28 PMA offers settlement proposal for 24 month contract, with a $ .50 wage increase during the 1st 12 months and a $ .50 wage increase during the second 12 months. The parties were essentially in agreement on the pension issue by this time with only the language of the agreement in question.

30 PMA increases 1st 12 month wage increase of 24 month contract to $.72 but decreased the second period increase to $ .40.

OCT 1971

  Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates; 1, 2, 3 and 4.  No further sessions were held until December.

  On the EAST COAST, the ILA goes on STRIKE for the 7th time since the end of World War II.

4 A Taft-Hartley Board of Inquiry is created by Executive Order in the PMA-ILWU deadlock.

*6 A U.S. District Court issues a temporary Restraining Order and the 80 day Taft-Hartley injunction begins. All ports are directed to resume operations as promptly as possible.

9 Work resumes in most ports in compliance with the Restraining Order issued on 6 Oct.

  At the time of the Taft-Hartley Injunction, the parties were in agreement on the following : a two year contract from date of signing; $ .72 1st year wage increase; 36 hour A man guarantee; 18 hour B man guarantee and pensions.

  Disagreements were: Cost "cap" on guarantee, rules for guarantee, jurisdiction, manning, and steady men.

20 Steady Longshoremen and Clerks begin resigning in the Los Angeles area.

20 The Taft-Hartley Injunction formally issued after an extension of the temporary restraining order on 15 Oct.

22 Increased resignation of steady men in the Los Angeles area noted. PMA policy to be no ship will work when steady men do not report. No orders are to be placed for steady men who resign.

28 An order to show cause re civil contempt issued involving non-compliance with restraining order issued 6 Oct 71.

31 Contempt charge proceeding concluded with the issuing of a temporary order requiring Union to furnish steady men.

NOV 1971

4 Federal District Judge William T. Schweigert issued an order finding that PMA and certain of its member companies, and ILWU Local 10 and Local 13 are in civil contempt of court.

14 Phase II of the Economic Stabilization Program begins.

25 On the EAST COAST, longshoremen return to work under a temporary restraining order issued in Taft-Hartley Injunction proceedings.

DEC 1971

  Negotiations resume with sessions being held on the following dates: 4, 6, 20, 21, 23, 27, 28 and 29.

1 As required by the Taft-Hartley Act, PMA submitted it’s “final offer for settlement” to the Board of Inquiry.

4 Negotiations resume with Mr. Curtis Counts participating.

14 “Last Offer” voting conducted by NLRB in all ports. Voting continues the following day in the 4 major parts.

17 “Last Offer” votes counted: NO-10, 072, YES-746, Challenged- 271, Spoiled-24.

23 ILWU offers to extend contract under the current conditions to 10 Jan 1972.

25 Taft-Hartley Injunction expires. Work continues.

29 ILWU offers to extend contract to 17 Jan 1972.

JAN 1972

  Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 10, 11, 12, 15, 16 and 31.

5 The ILWU Coast Negotiating Committee left for New York for a 3 day meeting with the ILA.

6 North Atlantic Ports announce a tentative agreement. No agreements announced for the South Atlantic or Gulf Ports.

7 The ILWU Coast Negotiating Committee returns from the ILA meeting. The ILA was “not interested in bargaining with ILWU to join ILA”.

13 Harry Bridges meets with Teamster officials in Washington to talk about a merger agreement.

*17 Negotiations break off -- STRIKE RESUMES.
PMA’s economic offer remained essentially as it was at the beginning of the Taft-Hartley injunction.

17 PMA members make public the policy to discontinue making vessels available for military cargo.

19 PMA rescinds policy concerning vessel availability for military cargo.

21 President Nixon asks congress to pass legislation providing for final and binding arbitration to settle the ILWU-PMA dispute.

26 The ILWU meets with grain operators to negotiate new contract.

31 Negotiations RESUME at PMA Headquarters in San Francisco.

FEB 1972

  Negotiating sessions were held on the following dates: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8

2 Sam Kagel, Coast Arbitrator, joins the parties in negotiations.

4 Ed Flynn and Harry Bridges go to Washington to testify before the House and Senate Labor Commitees.

10 Memorandum of Understanding between PMA and the ILWU signed.

17 Ratification vote by ILWU begins and continues to the 19th.

19 The ratification votes counted: Yes – 6, 803; No – 2, 761.

*20  STRIKE ENDS. Formal ILWU membership ratification announced; ILWU members return to work.

25 Required Pay Board submission made by PMA.

28 ILWU submits request for approval to Pay Board.

MAR 1972

9 Pay Board Staff reviews submission with parties.

14 Pay Board Holds Public Hearings on ILWU-PMA case.

16 By a vote of 8 to 6 the Pay Board disapproved “the proposed adjustment of wages and salaries submitted by PMA and ILWU as unreasonably inconsistent with the general wage and salary standard ; and, except as…provided, does hereby deny their submitted request for an exception”. The Pay Board ruling, in effect, reduced the first year wage increase from 15.7% to 10%.

22 The three AFL-CIO members of the Pay Board resign.

28 The ILWU and PMA meet to determine what action is to be taken as a result of the Pay Board ruling.