AFL-CIO Leaders Express Strong Support of ILA and Pledges More Help in Future; ILA Will Remain With AFL-CIO and President Harold Daggett Joins Executive Council

AFL-CIO Leaders Express Strong Support of ILA and Pledges More Help in Future; ILA Will Remain With AFL-CIO and President Harold Daggett Joins Executive Council


NORTH BERGEN, NJ (Sept. 10, 2013) - The International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO will remain an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor, Congress of Industrial Organizations and ILA President Harold J. Daggett will join four new Vice Presidents on the Federation's Executive Council.

At Tuesday's session of the 2013 Convention of the AFL-CIO, hundreds of delegates re-elected Richard Trumka as president of the Labor Federation and Elizabeth (Liz) Shuler as Secretary-Treasurer. Tefere Gebre, the current Central Labor Council leader for Orange County, California, was elected Executive Vice President, replacing Arlene Holt Baker, who retired. ILA President Harold Daggett now joins 54 other union leaders as a Vice President on the Executive Council.

For the past year, the ILA has been evaluating its place as an affiliate within the Labor Federation, critical of jurisdictional raiding of ILA work by other AFL-CIO affiliated unions. Because of similar raiding issues and other complaints against the Federation, the West Coast dockers union, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, disaffiliated with the AFL-CIO in early September 2013.

ILA President Harold Daggett consulted with his Executive Officers about the union’s best course of action and it was decided to remain an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. The ILA recognized its valued affiliations with state and local AFL-CIO councils and the protection they provided ILA members. No solidarity charters would be offered to unions that disaffiliated with the AFL-CIO.

Prior to the start of this week's AFL-CIO Convention in Los Angeles, ILA President Daggett also met with AFL-CIO leaders to express the ILA's concern about ILWU disaffiliation and its own jurisdictional issues. The ILA also told the AFL-CIO that it could have done more to help Philadelphia ILA longshore members when 200 jobs were lost after Del Monte moved its operations to a non-union facility a few years ago.

The ILA leader received enough assurances from the AFL-CIO that more attention would be paid to the his longshore union in the future and that jurisdictional issues would be addressed, that the union decided to remain with the AFL-CIO. The Labor Federation backed up this commitment to the ILA by returning its president to the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Getting ILA President Harold Daggett a seat on the AFL-CIO Executive Council had been one of the goals sought by the Maritime Labor Alliance (co-founded by ILA President Daggett) to fight on behalf of all maritime unions.

The ILA pushed for a resolution, also supported by the Maritime Labor Alliance, calling for all unions with memberships of more than 10,000 to have a place on the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council. A compromise resolution was adopted at this week’s convention expanding the number of Executive Council members.

"We are delighted that Harold Daggett now joins the AFL-CIO Executive Council," said Don Marcus, President of the Maritime Labor Alliance. "While it is distressing to us that President Daggett will not be joining ILWU President Robert McEllrath as part of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, we will continue to act together. In fact, our Maritime Labor Alliance is more important now than ever and Harold Daggett will provide the MLA with a strong voice to protect our maritime and labor interests."

"We congratulate ILA President Harold Daggett on his election to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council," said Mike Jewell, President, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA), which is also a member of the Maritime Labor Alliance. "This is a positive accomplishment for the maritime industry as we move to have all maritime unions represented on the Executive Council. Harold will represent a strong voice for all maritime and labor interests with the AFL-CIO. The Maritime Labor Alliance is further strengthened by President Daggett’s election to the Executive Council."

While the ILA understood the ILWU's frustration with its jurisdictional battles, the ILA could not jeopardize its own members' protection provided by the ILA's affiliation with the state and local councils of the AFL-CIO, especially in right-to-work states.

"Both the Maritime Labor Alliance and the ILA remain solidly behind the ILWU, and will protect and defend their interests as they have pledge to protect ours," said ILA President Harold J. Daggett. "Presently our union believes it can best protect its membership by remaining within the AFL-CIO and I will fight for our rights and all maritime workers' rights as a member of the Labor Federation’s Executive Council."

Contact Jim McNamara of ILA at 212-425-1200, ext. 308/917-853-0440 (cell) or