The International Longshoremen’s Association and employers will resume bargaining Tuesday on New York-New Jersey port issues that may pose the toughest challenge to settlement of an East and Gulf Coast dockworker contract.
This week’s talks between the ILA and the New York Shipping Association follow a federal mediator’s report of progress last week during three days of negotiations between the union and United States Maritime Alliance on a coastwide master contract.
The latest contract extension is set to expire Feb. 6. The contract, originally scheduled to expire last Sept. 30, has been extended twice.
In months of on-and-off negotiations, the ILA and USMX have tentatively agreed on master contract issues such as carrier-paid container royalties, automaton and jurisdiction over chassis repairs.
However, negotiators still must bridge differences on supplemental local agreements, led by the one covering the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The union and employers have tied approval of the master contract to settlement of local agreements covering work rules and other port-specific issues.
In New York-New Jersey, the NYSA is pushing for changes to work rules and staffing levels that require high staffing levels and pay for workers who aren’t on the job. ILA President Harold Daggett is resisting the changes in the East Coast’s largest port.
Although the New York-New Jersey negotiations are considered the most critical, bargaining sessions also are planned this week on local contracts at several other ports. The ILA and USMX plan to resume master contract negotiations next week.