The International Longshore and Warehouse
Union (ILWU) is a labor union which primarily represents dock workers on the West Coast
of the United States, and was established in 1937. The Los Angeles Chapter, Local 13,
was established shortly thereafter. The collection documents the establishment,
development, goals, and achievements of unionism on the Pacific Coast, including
labor/management relations, labor conditions on the waterfront, the sudden effects of
mechanization on the longshore labor force, and the day-to-day administration of this
In 1892, members of the longshore union met in Detroit, Michigan to christen their
organization as the National Longshoremen's Association of the United States. The
new union quickly became an official arm of the trade unionist movement by joining with
the American Federation of Labor (AFL). With successful expansion into ports on the east
and west coasts, including several Canadian ports by 1895, the union changed its name to
the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA).
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