Daggett said he was responding to a call last week by union members who wanted to shut down ports and march in Washington.
The members calling for the port shutdown highlighted two issues - their unhappiness with the fact that many jobs at marine terminals in South Carolina are held by state workers rather than ILA members, as well as the control of the labor force in the Port of New York and New Jersey exercised by the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.
"We hear your anger, we hear your frustration and we intend to address it," said Daggett in a statement. "With a delegation of ILA leaders, I will be heading to Washington immediately to seek help for our industry from Congress.
"I strongly urge all ILA members not to engage in any work stoppage or any other violation of the current master contract," he added. "Let the leadership of the ILA meet Congress in Washington. I am confident Congress will understand the urgency of our issues and resolve any and all problems."
Kenneth Riley, ILA vice president and president of ILA Local 1422 in Charleston, S.C., who was one of those calling for the port shutdown and march in Washington, said the goal was to "wake up the decision makers and force them to focus on our ports. We are protesting damage to the nation’s economy that is caused by the kind of interference that President Trump promised to stop.”
But the possibility of a port shutdown had created an outcry from shipper groups such as the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, the National Retail Federation, and the National Industrial Transportation League.
In addition, the United States Martiime Alliance (USMX), the group that represents employers in master contract negotiations with the ILA, said the planned shutdown is forbidden under the contract, and that "if the ILA engages in any unilateral walkout, USMX will enforce the contractual rights of its members to the fullest."