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ILWU Local 19
Seattle Washington

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Employment for Casual Longshore Work

Please be advised that working casuals as well as applicants for longshore work have no guarantee of any amount or type of longshore work, or of any advancements or promotions within the longshore industry. 

Working casuals and applicants are further advised that the ILWU and PMA reserve the right to change and even eliminate dispatching privileges, work rules, contractual provisions, work opportunity and possible future advancement for promotion in the longshore industry. 

This opportunity is for casual-labor, by-the-day work only, under the jurisdiction of the ILWU-PMA Seattle Tripartite Joint Port Labor Relations Committee, in accordance with the Pacific Coast Longshore and Clerks Agreement.

So you want to work on the Seattle Waterfront. 

You have made the first step in a long journey to registration. Before you decide to start the process you must understand how it all works. Work on the waterfront is never consistent. It depends on the time of year and economic conditions. The Christmas season usually is the busiest time of the year. After the new year is usually the slowest.

The union is made up of 4 different classes. The top of the ladder is the "A" registered members. These are the full dues paying members who get the first opportunity to work. After all the "A" members get work then what is left over is taken to the "B" class members.

"B" members are not members of their perspective Local but are ILWU International members and are considered apprentices and pay lesser dues and can vote only on the coastwise contract. After the "B" members have taken their jobs then what work is left over is taken to the "C" class otherwise known as "Identified Casuals".

These are people who are not yet registered ILWU members. After all the "ID's" have taken jobs then any work left over is given to the "unidentified casuals" which is where you start.

So there has to be plenty of jobs available on any given day for the "unidentified" to get a job. Now you need to know that longshore workers do not have to show up for work everyday. They have the freedom to choose when they work. 

Although "B" class and "ID's" have certain hours that they must meet every month to stay registered or keep their sequence position. So you never know just how many people (in any of the classes) will show up on any given day. There is a phone number that you can call to find out the amount of work for the next shift so you can decide if you have a chance to work.

You have to be prepared to have many days of no work You just never know if you will get a job unless you are available. All jobs are for one day only. You just go back the next day and try for another one. I suggest that you keep your day job if you have one. Those who are persistent and show up to work are the ones who eventually move up the ladder to registration.

Sorry we are not accepting applicants at this time.

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