US Ports – Longshoremen, Maritime Alliance Talks Make Progress
International Longshoremen's Association, US Maritime Alliance, express confidence new agreement will be reached before expiry of existing contract
The International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO, (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) ended two days of negotiations on a new contract today with both sides expressing confidence they will reach an agreement before the current pact expires on September 30.
Concluding their initial Wage Scale meeting in Tampa, ILA president Harold J. Daggett and USMX chairman and CEO James A. Capo said they were optimistic the two sides would reach an agreement well before the expiration of the current contract.
"We had a productive exchange of ideas that will give us a good start toward negotiating a contract sooner, rather than later, in 2012," Daggett and Capo said in a joint statement. "Both sides recognize the importance of the East and Gulf Coast ports to the nation's economy and remain committed to reaching an agreement without any disruption to port operations."
Since 1977, the two sides have successfully negotiated nine new Master Contracts without any disruption in operations. The current contract took effect in 2004 and was extended for two years in 2010.
In 2011, the 14 ports handled more than 110 million tons of import and export cargo, accounting for 95 percent of containerized shipments from Maine to Texas.
USMX represents employers of the East and Gulf Coast longshore industry, including 24 container carrier members, including the 10 largest carriers worldwide, and every major marine terminal operator and port association on the East and Gulf Coasts.
The ILA represents 15,000 members working at Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports from Maine to Texas.