Yesterday, representatives of the International Longshoremen Alliance (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), which represents steamship lines and terminals that employ ILA union members, resumed negotiations towards a contract resolution. The week prior, the ILA and USMX agreed to extend the Maine through Texas contract 90 days until the end of December. This first step averted the potential strikes that were planned for the pre-holiday peak trading season.
Union and employer representatives along the East and Gulf Coasts have been meeting regularly to hammer out local and regional contracts until a coast wide master agreement is made. This master agreement would cover issues such as container and roll-on, roll-off wages, carrier-paid container royalties (support worker bonuses and benefits), medical plans, jurisdictions, and other factors. The local contracts cover break-bulk wages, local pensions and benefits, work rules, and other port specific details.
Although there has been progress in negotiations, there are still resolutions to be made. Specifically, local negotiations in New York and New Jersey will continue through this week. Stay tuned