International Longshoremen’s Association delegates approved in principle the basic terms of a tentative deal on a Maine-to-Texas master contract, and will meet with United States Maritime Alliance on Wednesday to discuss the agreement.
The ILA’s 200-member wage scale committee is meeting through Thursday in Tampa, Fla., to review the six-year contract and make a recommendation on rank-and-file ratification.
The union and USMX reached tentative agreement on the master contract Feb. 28. The deal, however, was subject to completion of supplemental local contracts covering work rules and other port-specific issues, and on ratification by both sides.
Negotiators for the ILA and the New York Shipping Association reached tentative agreement last Thursday on the local contract covering the Port of New York and New Jersey but said some issues remained to be ironed out.
The New York-New Jersey contract was considered the most contentious of the local contracts, but some of the other local agreements also had unresolved issues. ILA officials gathered for this week’s meetings said they were optimistic those issues could be settled.
The East and Gulf Coast dockworkers union and its employers have been negotiating since last March on a contract that was set to expire last Sept. 30 but has been extended twice to avert threatened strikes.
The ILA hasn’t had a coastwide strike since 1977.