Although many longshoremen have a deserved reputation for militancy, the waterfront has been remarkably peaceful in some countries. The propensity of longshoremen to strike is explored in an historical and international comparative context, looking beyond industry-level variables to determine the nature and causes of industrial action. The incidence of strikes on the waterfront depended ultimately on the propriety of labor regulation, most notably the operation of different “dock labor schemes” in combination with union leadership, management policy, and the efficacy of dispute resolution procedures.