A standoff continues between Baltimore port employers and the International Longshoremen’s Association over a local contract covering non-containerized breakbulk and automobile shipments.
ILA Local 333 struck for three days last October but resumed work after Arbitrator M. David Vaughn ruled the union had violated the no-strike clause in the ILA’s coastwide master contract.
The master contract covers container and roll-on, roll-off cargo. It was signed last April by the ILA and the United States Maritime Alliance, the coastwide management group that includes the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore.
Vaughn ordered the union to pay $3.8 million in damages for last October’s strike. The ILA and Steamship Trade Association resumed negotiations, and pledged to refrain from a strike or lockout.
Local 333 voted down the employers’ “best and final” offer in February after Dennis Daggett, president of the union’s Atlantic Coast District, said a “no” vote would put the local in a better position to negotiate down the arbitrator’s award.
Daggett and other ILA officials met with employers and the arbitrator two weeks ago, but the two sides failed to end their standoff.
The ILA is insisting that the $3.8 million arbitrator’s award be lifted before negotiations resume. The Steamship Trade Association has said its final offer is already on the table.
Daggett, son of ILA President Harold Daggett, issued an open letter today saying the international union was putting its “full weight and strength” behind Local 333.
“We are committed to assist you to achieve a fair and equitable local contract and to remove any financial burdens or obstacles that are an attempt by employers and a misguided arbitrator to weaken your efforts for union representation,” Daggett’s letter said.