A longshoremen’s strike that has idled the Port of Baltimore continued into its second day today.
Members of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 333 struck on Oct. 16 after voting down a proposed local contract with the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore. The port’s other ILA locals refused to cross the picket lines.
The strike is limited to Baltimore. Other East and Gulf Coast ports where ILA workers are employed are continuing normal operations.
The local contract in Baltimore is a supplementary agreement to the six-year coastwide master contract that the ILA negotiated last spring with United States Maritime Alliance, the employers’ coastwide umbrella organization.
Baltimore was one of several ports where local negotiations continued after the master contract was settled. ILA members at Virginia ratified their local contract on Aug. 30 after voting down two previous proposals.
The ILA’s master contract covers container and roll-on, roll-off wages, as well as medical benefits, container royalties and other coastwide issues. Local contracts cover work rules, pensions and other port-specific issues.
Top ILA and USMX officials traveled to Virginia and Baltimore in August to meet with local negotiators in an effort to work out a settlement. Federal mediators have been working to broker a deal between the union and employers at Baltimore.
Local 333 said it had filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the Steamship Trade Association of refusing to bargain in good faith.
The employer association contends Local 333 is violating a no-strike clause in the master contract.
The master contract was signed last spring after nearly a year of contentious negotiations that included threats of a coastwide strike.