AmericasPorts and Logistics

Female dockworkers accuse US West Coast ports association of discrimination

A group of female dockworkers have brought US federal discrimination claims against the Pacific Maritime Association which represents 29 West Coast ports, according to Reuters.

The four women alleged to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) that they lost pay and seniority after they became pregnant.

They contrasted their treatment with that of male counterparts who temporarily left to serve in the armed forces.

Some similar claims were filed in 2017 but Thursday’s amended charges could expand to cover all women working at the western ports.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.


  1. I work for the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

    We were surprised to read about the ACLU’s allegations in the media because we have not yet seen the charges, nor have we been contacted by the ACLU.

    Had the ACLU talked to the union before going to the media, they would have learned that the ACLU lawyers have the facts wrong.

    In reality, there is no policy or practice of granting hours credit for absences of any kind, except for military veterans as required by federal law.

    The ILWU and our employers have a liberal policy of allowing longshore workers abundant leave as needed for pregnancy.

    Jennifer Sargent Bokaie

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