The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor announced that it granted the joint-recommendation of the New York Shipping Association-International Longshoremen's Association Contract Board which requested that the Commission accept applications from 400 persons for inclusion in the Longshoremen's Register and also that the Commission accept applications for the replacement of up to 415 potential retirees for the period of October 1, 2002 to September 30, 2003.
After a December 13, 2002 Public Hearing on the joint-recommendation and an examination of testimony and documentary and statistical exhibits introduced at the hearing, Waterfront Commissioners Michael C. Axelrod of New York and Michael C. Madonna of New Jersey determined to accept applications from 252 persons immediately including 42 checkers and 210 longshorepersons, and 148 applications from longshorepersons/or checkers upon the submission of proof by the industry that an increase in labor is necessary as a result of the establishment of a "second gate/yard shift" by a particular terminal operator and as a result of two other terminal operators obtaining new business. The Commission also granted the industry's request for the replacement of up to 415 retirees for NYSA-ILA's October 1, 2002 - September 30, 2003 contract year. The agency also approved an industry request to replace workers who have left the industry for a variety of reasons.
In 1999, the States of New York and New Jersey amended the Waterfront Commission Act to provide for a more streamlined and efficient manner of bringing a sufficient number of dock workers into the labor force to meet the demand for such labor. Due to increased business in the Port of New York/New Jersey, as well as changes in the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between management and labor and attrition in the dock labor force, the Waterfront Commission sought the amendment so that it could anticipate and meet the need for labor in the Port in a timely manner.
This joint recommendation was the fourth request made following enactment of the legislation. In May 2000, the Commission conducted a public hearing to consider the joint request by the Contract Board for the acceptance of applications from 481 persons for inclusion in the Longshoremen's Register, which joint request was subsequently conditionally granted. After a public hearing held
in January 2001, the Commission granted the petition of Naporano Iron and Metal Co., an independent stevedore, to conditionally accept applications from 40 persons for inclusion in the Register. Following a June 2002, public hearing on another joint-recommendation by the Contract Board, the Commission determined to accept applications from 450 persons immediately and 303 applications from longshorepersons and /or checkers upon the submission of proof by the industry that an increase in labor is necessary as a result of retirements of dockworkers, and/or the addition of or the anticipated addition of new cranes at a waterfront facility and/or as a result of new business at a waterfront facility.
Commissioners Axelrod and Madonna stated that the "expeditious granting of the latest joint-recommendation meets the industry's immediate need for additional labor and provides a quick and efficient means for meeting anticipated needs in the near future. This determination satisfies the Commission's mandate to balance the supply of dock labor with the demand for their services within the Port."