The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) just concluded months of negotiations on June 6, 2018. They have now agreed on a tentative six-year contract for East and Gulf Coast dockworkers. If the final contract is approved, it would ensure labor peace on both coasts until 2024 or even later. According to Journal of Commerce, the deal “parallels a labor deal for US West Coast ports lasting until 2022.” The current contract is due to expire September 30, 2018.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)’s contract has been extended to July 1, 2022, which affects the West Coast workers.
In order for the contract to be enacted, the agreement has to be ratified by the union’s local members after they have concluded their own negotiations on local issues. The deadline for those is July 10, 2018. [JOC]
If both parties do not follow through on the agreement, shippers could be affected by labor stoppages and cargo delays.
The discussions and agreement cover wages, medical benefits, carrier-paid container royalties, and other issues. According to The Wall Street Journal, “The terms of the agreement were unanimously approved by 200 delegates of the ILA’s 65,000 maritime-worker membership after on-again, off-again negotiations.” The contract does not touch on port automation.
According to Chris Dupin of American Shipper, “Agreement between the two sides seemed to be reached quickly this week, but ILA spokesman Jim McNamara noted,“There was a lot of work done ahead of time. Both sides really learned from previous negotiations and methodically put together the contract using the smaller committees to build details and then present it” to the wage-scale delegates.”