As I write this piece for publication this month, I cannot be certain of the outcome of negotiations between the USMX and the ILA, or NYSA and the ILA as these events are currently unfolding. However, I can be certain that when the bargaining is eventually completed, we will be living with a new normalcy in management-labor relations and perhaps with some terminal operations as well. The need for change is so apparent that one way or another change will occur.
I have always ascribed to a theory that change does not have to take place at the expense of a single party, but rather, if handled correctly, change can benefit multiple parties. The trick is to have the parties mutually agree to an outcome without having to force one of those parties into something that is blatantly objectionable.
In 2013, it is essential that we can begin an evolution in not only thinking but in action as well. Many legacy port practices have contributed to inefficiencies and costs that can make a port un-competitive. Effecting a change in these legacy practices can obviously be achieved a couple of different ways: the hard way or the easy way. Notwithstanding the path we may choose, 2013 will prove to be a pivotal year in management-labor relations.