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Dockworkers’ Union ILWU Files for Chapter 11 Amid Decade-Long Legal Battle

FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind container cranes at the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 14, 2021. REUTERS/David Swanson/File Photo

Dockworkers’ Union ILWU Files for Chapter 11 Amid Decade-Long Legal Battle

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October 2, 2023

Oct 1 (Reuters) – The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) representing U.S. dockworkers has filed for a chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to resolve a pending litigation with the Oregon affiliate of the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI).

The union has listed its assets and liabilities in the range of $1 million to $10 million, according to the Sept. 30 filing made in a San Francisco court. 

“While we have attempted numerous times to resolve the decade-long litigation with ICTSI Oregon, at this point, the Union can no longer afford to defend against ICTSI’s scorched-earth litigation tactic”, said ILWU International President Willie Adams.

“We intend to use the chapter 11 process to implement a plan that will bring this matter to resolution and ensure that our Union continues to do its important work for our members and the community,” he added.

ICTSI said in a statement to Reuters that the bankruptcy filing was union’s “latest maneuver to avoid accountability”. 

The union is facing a looming trial over allegations it illegally slowed down operations over several years at the Port of Portland, then operated by an affiliate of Philippines-based maritime company, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The ILWU, which has over 4,000 members across the United States and Canada, said it will file customary “First Day” motions with the court to maintain its cash management system as part of its reorganization process.

The union in August ratified a six-year contract for U.S dockworkers that improved pay and benefits for 22,000 employees at 29 ports stretching from California to Washington State.

(Reporting by Jose Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Stephen Coates)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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