Our History


The History of ILWU Credit Union.

ILWU Credit Union was founded in 1954 by Local 13 members Benny McDonald, Pete Moore, and Tony Arriaga. The Credit Union was founded as a financial cooperative to provide a place for longshoremen to cash their paychecks, save, and borrow money at reasonable loan rates. The Credit Union operated out of a small building next to the Local 13 Union Payroll Office cashing checks, taking deposits and loan applications for the longshoremen and their family members

The Credit Union has enjoyed a good relationship with the I.L.W.U. over the years with longshoremen being told to join ILWU Credit Union when they joined the union and began working at the Port of Los Angeles. ILWU Credit Union Board Member, Dan Imbagliazzo, explained that “those old-timers helped me understand the importance of a trustworthy place for working families to save and borrow.” The I.L.W.U. Members who founded ILWU Credit Union knew that the Credit Union movement had the same goal to improve the lives of the American worker.

The strength of the I.L.W.U. in the ports of Southern California allowed ILWU Credit Union to grow steadily over the years expanding their Field of Membership to include the Members of I.L.W.U. Locals from San Diego in the South to Port Hueneme to the North. By 1990, the Credit Union boasted 5,621 members with just under $20 million dollars in assets.

The new millennium was a turning point in the history of ILWU Credit Union. In December of 2000, ILWU Credit Union had shown little growth since 1990 with 5,500 members and over $24 million in assets. Over the next 14 years the Credit Union expanded online access, opened a new branch office in San Pedro, and experienced historic growth in membership and assets with 14,544 members and assets over $162 million.

In 2016, ILWU Credit Union completed a merger with ILWU FSC Federal Credit Union located in Northern California. With the completion of the merger, ILWU Credit Union's asset size grew to over $228 million with over 18,600 members and a new branch location in Oakland, California. This merger was significant because it allowed ILWU Credit Union to serve all I.L.W.U. Locals in the state of California.

In 2017, to better serve our Northern California Locals, we moved our Oakland Branch to a more convenient location closer to the port. We also opened a satellite office at the Bay Area Longshoremen’s Memorial Association (BALMA) building in San Francisco to assist our members at the Local 10 Dispatch Hall.

In 2019, in order to accommodate our rapid growth, ILWU Credit Union moved its headquarters to Long Beach, California. As our membership and staff continued to grow, we needed to find a larger, convenient location to accommodate our needs now and in the future. The new location is a state-of-the-art facility that will benefit our staff and our members and includes a full-service branch and new ATM.

On September 1, 2019, ILWU Credit Union became a federally chartered credit union. Members agreed this was an important step in the longevity and success of the Credit Union and voted to approve the conversion to a federal charter. This conversion allows us to serve I.L.W.U. Local Members outside of California, upon request. In September 2019, Members of Local 142 Longshore Division became eligible to join ILWU Federal Credit Union, adding our brothers and sisters in Hawaii into our Field of Membership.

ILWU Federal Credit Union exists to support our Union brothers and sisters by providing lower loan rates, higher savings rates, enhanced access services, and products and programs designed exclusively for I.L.W.U. Members. We understand our members play a key role in the success and growth of our Credit Union. Together, we’re building an organization that is making a difference for I.L.W.U. Members and their families.

As of December 31, 2020, ILWU Federal Credit Union has 23,151 members and $373 million in assets.