Striking Baltimore longshoremen resumed working Friday on containers and roll-on, roll-off cargo covered by a coastwide master contract while arbitration proceedings continued, a management official said.
Dave Adam, CEO of United States Maritime Alliance, said work resumed on cargo covered by the coastwide master contract between USMX and the International Longshoremen’s Association.
Meanwhile, an arbitrator heard arguments on a complaint by employers that ILA Local 333 in Baltimore had violated the master contract’s no-strike clause.
Richard Scher, spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, said dockworkers resumed work Friday afternoon on container and roll-on, roll-off ships at Seagirt and Dundalk marine terminals.
The port administration is not a party to the contract between the ILA and its employers, or to the negotiations but has encouraged the two sides to keep working toward an agreement.
Friday’s return to work did not include automobiles or breakbulk cargoes such as forest products, which are not covered under the coastwide contract. Longshoremen worked a cruise ship Thursday.
Adam said the return to work applied only to cargo covered by the master contract.
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, including breakbulk pay.
The contracts between ILA locals and the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore supplement the coastwide agreement.
Local 333 members struck Wednesday after voting 517-25 against the last proposal from the Steamship Trade Association. The port’s other ILA locals refused to cross the picket lines.
Other East and Gulf Coast ports where ILA workers are employed are continuing normal operations.
Baltimore was one of several ports where local negotiations continued after the master contract was settled. ILA members at the Port of Virginia ratified their local contract on Aug. 30 after voting down two previous proposals.
The master contract was signed last spring after nearly a year of contentious negotiations that included threats of a coastwide strike.