SAN FRANCISCO, California: To resolve a pending litigation with the Oregon affiliate of the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents U.S. dockworkers, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
A September 30 filing in a San Francisco court showed that the union's total assets and liabilities are in the US$1 million to $10 million range.
Willie Adams, International President of the ILWU, said, "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."
"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.
In a statement, the ICTSI said the bankruptcy filing was the union's "latest maneuver to avoid accountability."
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the union is alleged to have illegally slowed down operations over several years at the Port of Portland, then operated by an affiliate of a Philippines-based maritime company.
The ILWU, representing more than 4,000 American and Canadian members, said that to maintain its cash management system under its reorganization process, it will file customary "First Day" motions with the court.
In August, the union approved a six-year contract for 22,000 U.S. dockworkers at 29 ports stretching from California to Washington State.