The vote by the ILA's 200-member wage scale committee moves East and Gulf coast ports closer to their first coast wide strike in 35 years.
The International Longshoremen's Association President Harold Daggett has been authorized by ILA delegates to call a strike if bargaining impasse not settled before the union's contract expires December 29, 2012.
An ILA strike would affect container and roll-on, roll-off cargo covered by the ILA-USMX coast wide master contract. The ILA would continue to work breakbulk cargo and cruise lines that employ ILA labor but are not covered by the master contract. Perishables and military cargo also would be exempt.
In addition to issues in the coast wide master contract, this year's negotiations over supplementary local contracts have been contentious, especially in the Port of New York and New Jersey, where the New York Shipping Association is seeking changes in work rules, including requirements for extensive relief staffing.
Currently, the Port of Virginia has released the following contingency plans:
* VIT would hold extended and weekend gate hours as necessary prior to and after a work stoppage in order to minimize impacts of the delay.
* Trains in Greensboro will be processed. In the event of a work stoppage there will be no receipt and delivery of rail cargo in and out of the terminals.
* Vessels will be handled in accordance with arrival and departure schedules while taking into account other variables such as canal appointments on a case by case basis.
* VIT will extend free time at all its facilities, including the VIP, from the time the work stoppage begins and until it ends.
* Equipment will not be delivered or received in the event of a work stoppage.