The International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance held a full day of contract negotiations Tuesday and planned to continue their federally mediated bargaining Wednesday.
No details were available on the substance of the negotiations, which are being overseen by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
A 20-member ILA committee and a group representing USMX are scheduled to meet through Thursday in Galloway, N.J. , as they try to work out a deal before their latest extension expires Feb. 6.
The ILA and USMX agreed to a short-term contract extension last month after agreeing on container royalties, a key issue in the coastwide master contract. The extension averted a threatened Dec. 30 strike at East and Gulf Coast ports.
Both sides have said approval of a coastwide contract is contingent on settlement of supplemental local agreements. The largest and most contentious local contracts is between the ILA and the New York Shipping Association, which is seeking changes to work rules and practices in the Port of New York and New Jersey.
In advance of this week’s meetings, ILA signaled that it intended to remain at the bargaining table longer than it did last week when the union walked out shortly after the start of a scheduled two-day session on New York-New Jersey local issues.
New York-New Jersey issues were expected to be part of this week’s negotiating session. Several principals in the ILA-NYSA local negotiations are members of the small committees meeting on the ILA-USMX coastwide master contract.