An International Longshoremen’s Association local in Baltimore voted down a proposed local contract for autos and breakbulk cargo after a top official from ILA headquarters urged members to reject the employers’ proposal.
Local 333’s 416-140 “no” vote on Feb. 11 came a day after Dennis Daggett, president of the ILA’s Atlantic Coast District, issued a letter recommending rejection.
Daggett, a son of ILA President Harold Daggett, issued a letter telling members that rejecting the contract would put Local 333 in “better position” to negotiate down a $3.8 million arbitrator’s award to carriers for a three-day strike last October.
The arbitrator ruled that Local 333’s strike improperly included containerized cargo covered by the coastwide master contract that the ILA signed with employers last April and violated the master contract’s no-strike clause.
The local contract covers autos, breakbulk, pensions and other port-specific issues not included in the master contract. The Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore had said its proposal was its “best and final” offer.
Daggett’s letter told local members that if they ratified the proposal, employers would “proceed with enforcing the award against Local 333’s treasury and your future dues money, which obviously will be financially devastating to Local 333. On the other hand, if you reject the offer, Local 333 will likely be in a better position to deal with the arbitrator’s award.”
Although the rejection of the local contract leaves the agreement in limbo, Local 333 President Riker “Rocky” McKenzie has said members would continue to work and would seek renewed negotiations.
Daggett’s letter said he would “come to Baltimore and involve myself personally in your local negotiations until we can hopefully reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both sides.”