The International Union of Dock and Warehouse Workers in the United States declares bankruptcy

A man working as union members with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union of Canada (ILWU) removes tents and strike signs from a picket line outside a dispatch hall in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on July 13, 2023. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo Obtaining licensing rights

Oct 1 (Reuters) – The International Seaport and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents dockworkers in the United States, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to resolve a pending lawsuit with the Oregon subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI).

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

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

“We intend to use the Chapter 11 process to implement a plan that will resolve this matter and ensure 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 “the union’s latest maneuver to avoid accountability.”

The union faces imminent prosecution over allegations that it illegally slowed operations over several years at the Port of Portland, which was then operated by a subsidiary of a Philippines-based maritime company, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The ILWU, which has more than 4,000 members across the United States and Canada, said it would file its usual “day one” motions with the court to preserve its cash management system as part of the reorganization process.

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The union in August ratified a six-year contract for American dockworkers, improving wages and benefits for 22,000 employees at 29 ports stretching from California to Washington state.

(Reporting by Jose Joseph in Bengaluru; Preparing by Gabriel for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Aurora Ellis and Stephen Coates

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