Negotiations between International Longshoremen's Association & U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) broke off abruptly Tuesday afternoon.
The union and management said they were going to discuss container royalties, payments that are made to longshoremen based on the weight of containerized cargo. USMX has wanted to cap those payments.
Bennie Holland, executive vice president of the ILA, said the union told management it was "willing to extend the contract to Feb. 1 and keep talking if management would be willing to take the container royalty cap off the table and we could show them other ways to accommodate them with other adjustment that would offset" the royalties. "They refused, so right now unless we hear back from them we will be on strike on Dec. 29," he added.
Dave Adam, senior vice president and chief operating officer of USMX, said, "Employers are willing to continue to bargain in good faith," but that the union had put terms on the extension that were unacceptable.