Strength of ILA Master Contract That Protects Members Against Automation For Six Years

ILWU workers staged a protest outside the port building in San Pedro Thursday January 24, 2019 where harbor commission will be taking up an item that would bring more automation to one of its terminals. Mark Mendoza ILWU Local 13 president speaks to the crowd. Photo By Chuck Bennett

ILWU workers staged a protest outside the port building in San Pedro Thursday January 24, 2019 where harbor commission will be taking up an item that would bring more automation to one of its terminals. Mark Mendoza ILWU Local 13 president speaks to the crowd. Photo By Chuck Bennett

NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (January 25, 2019) Any doubts about ILA President Harold J. Daggett strong opposition to fully-automated terminals and the value of the ILA’s new Six-Year Master Contract extension signed last summer, were erased when news of a major protest on Thursday by longshore workers belonging to Local 13, International Longshore and Warehouse Union in Los Angeles was reported. The central issue of the protest by West Coast longshoremen was the threat of automated terminals.

ILA President Daggett fought long and hard throughout negotiations against the construction of any fully automated terminals at Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports. The ILA leader was successful and convinced the ILA’s employer group -United States Maritime Alliance – to make it part of the new six-year agreement.

The Port of Long Beach, California already features a fully automated port and now ILWU members are actively protesting the expansion of automated terminals to other port areas. According to the west coast publication, “The Daily Breeze,” ILWU members belonging to Local 13 picketed outside a meeting of the L.A. Board of Harbor Commissions on Thursday, to protest the approval of a permit that will allow a major terminal operator to increase automation at the Port of Los Angeles.

“Leaders for the International Longshore and Warehouse union argued that adding automation could eliminate thousands of jobs and damage the larger community,” the news report said.

ILA members, meanwhile, are applauding their own agreement with USMX that protects ILA workers from loss of jobs and livelihoods for six years. ILA members are so grateful for their own agreement that they have started a Facebook campaign to have ILA President Daggett’s May 12th Birthday recognized as an official ILA holiday.

And the ILA’s achievement has not gone unnoticed by dockworkers around the world.

“ILA President Harold Daggett and the ILA negotiating team that includes Dennis Daggett, Steve Knott and Alan Robb should be congratulated for their strong stand protecting their membership while fighting the ravages of automation at our ports that will ultimately decimate our membership,” said Jordi Aragunde, General Coordinator of the world-wide International Dockers’ Council. “It is up to us in the other ports around the world to insist that our employers protect us and our jobs and livelihoods by applying the high standards established by Brother Harold Daggett and the ILA.”

“We were totally opposed to fully automated terminals and got the guarantees from our employers that they would not construct them during the life of our new package,” said President Daggett. “We are committed to give our employers far superior productivity and increase our hourly container moves, far better than any robot or automation could do.”

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NEW YORK, NY, JANUARY 3, 2019—The New York/ New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association has named Harold J. Daggett, International President of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO, as its 2019 Person of the Year. Mr. Daggett will be honored at a gala dinner and dance on February 7, 2019 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Harold J. Daggett was unanimously re-elected International President of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO at the union’s quadrennial convention in July 2015. He was first elected International President in 2011, becoming the ninth president in the ILA’s 124 years of existence. As International President, Mr. Daggett serves as chief negotiator for the ILA representing 45,000 ILA members at port areas from Maine to Texas, Great Lakes region, Puerto Rico, major U.S. Rivers and Eastern and Central Canada.

Said William Skinner, NYNJFFFBA President said: “Mr. Daggett recently negotiated a new six-year Master Contract extension with United States Maritime Alliance that will remain in effect until September 30, 2024. The Contract includes landmark provisions including full protection for ILA members against loss of jobs resulting from automated ports.”
Mr. Skinner added: “USMX agreed that no fully automated terminals would be constructed at ILA ports for the life of the contract. The new six-year agreement includes generous increases in wages and funding and protections for the national health care program, called MILA. This virtually ensures labor peace on the East and U. S. Gulf ports through September 2024 and for his major role in this initiative our association has selected Mr. Daggett to be so honored.”

Within his first seven years as International President, Harold Daggett has now negotiated two major contracts that keep ILA members among the best compensated blue-collar workers in America.

In September 2013, Mr. Daggett was elected as a Vice President to the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO. He also serves on the Executive Council of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Mr. Daggett also holds leadership positions with the International Dockers Council (IDC) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

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 over 50 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.

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.

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 most recent four years as Executive Vice President. After leading the one of the largest locals in the ILA as president for 14 years, Harold Daggett stepped down as president of ILA Local 1804-1 in September 201l. He now is President Emeritus of ILA Local 1804-1.

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 DinnerIn June 2015, Mr. Daggett was honored by the New Jersey AFL-CIO as its Outstanding Labor Leader.

Mr. Daggett, a New York City native, distinguished himself in scouting, first as a Cub Scout and later as a Boy Scout with Troop 127 in Queens. In his adult life, the Greater New York City Council, Boy Scouts of America with their prestigious Good Scout Award, honored Mr. Daggett.

Through his local leadership, Mr. Daggett and the members of Local 1804-1 have raised more money for the ILA Children’s Fund—which benefits The Hole In the Wall Gang Camp—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.

The dinner is one of the largest industry events in the United States and is attended by executives and representatives of the ocean carriers, forwarders, brokers, terminal operators, government and the many ancillary industries.

Sponsorships, tickets and membership directory advertising are available through the association at or by telephone at 732-741-1936.

About New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association, Inc.

The New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders & Brokers Association, Inc. is one of the oldest transportation related organizations in the United States today. Founded in 1917, the association provides information on issues and developments important to its members; serves as a voice for the freight forwarding, customs brokerage and OTI communities in policy and regulation decision-making; and protects and advocates the best interests of the group as a whole. For more information, visit


A Christmas Message from ILA President Harold J. Daggett

As our ILA families prepare to celebrate Christmas 2018, I want to express my heartfelt thanks for your support throughout the past year and for the almost eight years I have been honored to serve you as your International President.

Perhaps our greatest gift to our membership and our industry came a few months ago when the ILA negotiated a new six-year contract extension with United States Maritime Alliance that will bring growth and stability to our industry until September 30, 2024. Our employers agreed to protect our jobs and livelihoods by keeping fully automated terminals off our ports. The ILA, in turn, promised to deliver on productivity – we were both winners in 2018!

Your prayers and well wishes helped me through a very serious health issue this past year and, in turn, I will always keep ILA members and their families in my prayers, especially at Christmas Services this year. The ILA never begins an Executive Council meeting; a Wage Scale session or our Convention without offering a collective Prayer – Faith in our Lord and Fellowship with our Sister and Brother members have carried the ILA for more than a century.

May God bless us all this Holiday Season 2018 and may we all enjoy Good Health and Happiness in 2019.


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Day 2 of the 2018 ILA – South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District Educational Seminar

Thursday, November 29, 2018 – Day 2 of the ILA – South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District Educational Seminar began with a warm welcome to Ron Kyser and John Kotowicz of the newly chartered ILA Local 2073 in Panama City, FL, which is still recovering from Hurricane Michael.  Always willing to assist brothers and sisters in need, many locals provided donations to the recovery effort, and the South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District Office will be matching the total contributions.

Laurence M. Goodman from the Willig, Williams & Davidson law firm in Philadelphia, PA gave a presentation about conducting local union elections and provided updates from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  Rick Levy from the Texas AFL-CIO in Austin, TX discussed building the labor movement and urged attendees to get involved.  Tara Thibodaux from the Department of Labor in New Orleans, LA talked about union reporting and the top ten mistakes made by ILA local officials.

The Blue Ribbon Panel Meeting commenced following the presentations.  Tom Sullivan, Ron Signorino & Benjamin Bryan, representatives from the ILA-USMX Joint Safety Committee, addressed the dangerous surroundings we work in, the importance of safety, and recommended staying informed with the monthly OSH Circulars created by the committee.  They also provided statistics on accidents by injury, job and location.  Lastly, Nick Jumonville from the Midgulf Association in New Orleans, LA communicated information on how to respond to an active shooter.

Overall, the two-day educational seminar proved successful with information useful to attendees.

Please see links below to download presentations from Day 2 of the 2018 ILA South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District Educational Seminar:

DOL Dos and Don’ts by Laurence M. Goodman

Financial Recordkeeping by Tara Thibodaux

Top 10 Mistakes Made by ILA Union Officials by Tara Thibodaux

Blue Ribbon Panel by ILA~USMX Joint Safety Committee

Active Shooter Events:  How to Respond by Nick Jumonville

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Thomas W. Gleason, Jr., ILA’s General Counsel For Decades, Passes Away At 94


Thomas W. Gleason, Jr., oldest son of legendary ILA President Teddy Gleason, and an acclaimed labor attorney in his own right who argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and as General Counsel for the International Longshoremen’s Association, served under three Presidents, passed away on Wednesday, November 28th at 94.

Gleason was a larger than life character and a most deserving member of America’s Greatest Generation. He quit high school to join the Marines during the Second World War, losing a leg in the Battle of Saipan. Returning to the States as a wounded and heroic war veteran, his career options seemed limited. His father, Teddy Gleason, and other family members purchased a small resort in upstate New York -Browns Hotel – where Tommy Gleason turned the hotel into a boxing training camp. Many of the famed boxers of that era in the late 1940s and 1950s would spend summers training at the Gleason’s Browns Hotel. But Thomas Gleason was always bound for the New York Waterfront. A young Tommy Gleason found work on the New York waterfront following in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather, working as a checker and longshoreman during the day while attending school at night on the GI Bill, eventually obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan College and a Law Degree from St. John’s University.

He married at an early age and he and his wife, Catherine, had nine children.

As an attorney and General Counsel for the ILA, Tom Gleason helped the ILA leadership craft Collective Bargaining Agreements that would become legendary. Included in these landmark agreements was the Guaranteed Annual Income that helped buffer ILA members from the impact of Containerization; negotiating “coastwise” Master Contracts that helped strengthen the bargaining power of all ILA ports from Maine to Texas.
He would serve as counsel during his father’s six terms as ILA president and continued under the Administrations of John Bowers and Richard P. Hughes.

Like his father, Teddy Gleason, Thomas W. Gleason was active and revered in the Irish American community. Twenty years after Teddy Gleason led the 1984 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City as Grand Marshal, Tommy Gleason was bestowed the same honor in 2004 when he wore the Grand Marshal sash and led more than 200,000 marchers up Fifth Avenue. Thomas Gleason counted among his close friends the Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey; famed Irish comedian Hal Roach and renowned Irish tenor Frank Patterson.

“Thomas W. Gleason was a legend in his own right and his contributions to the ILA were outstanding,” said current ILA President Harold Daggett. “Tommy Gleason proved to be a great asset during his father’s presidency but his accomplishments were great and his memory will long endure.”

Thomas Gleason’s younger brother, Robert E. Gleason served in a number of positions with the ILA, including International Secretary-Treasurer from 1991 until his retirement in 2012.

Family will be receiving visitors at Thomas W. Gleason’s Wake, scheduled for Friday, November 30, 2018 at Frank E. Campbell, The Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Avenue (81st Street), New York, New York: 212-288-3500. Hours are 2 pm to 4 pm and 6 pm to 9 pm.

A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday morning, December 1, 2018 at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue, New York, New York. Photograph is from July 2002, from left to right: Robert E. Gleason; Harold Daggettand the late Thomas W. Gleason.

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