Inefficient work and pay practices criticized by the Waterfront Commission should be addressed “at the bargaining table – not publicly in the political world and surely not in the press,” the New York Shipping Association said.
NYSA President Joseph Curto responded to a commission report that urged changes in pay and work practices for International Longshoremen’s Association workers at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Curto said many of the practices to which the commission objected date to the breakbulk era. He said employers have chipped at away at inefficiencies in contract negotiations over the years but still need to address issues such as excess staffing and overtime payments.
The commission report noted that 40 percent of the hours paid for longshore labor in the port are for time in which no work is performed.
“These practices, many of which have been in place for more than fifty years, have made the port unnecessarily expensive and less competitive,” Curto said in a prepared statement. “Now is the time to address issues of excess staffing and hours of pay that are not commensurate with the work performed, but the place to address these matters is at the bargaining table – not publicly in the political world and surely not in the press…
“We will address these issues during labor negotiations as part of a smart business plan; not because the Waterfront Commission thinks we should. The public policy of the United States calls for collective bargaining to be conducted by the private parties involved without governmental interference.”