APPROVE NEW CONTRACTSAINT JOHN, New Brunswick - Longshoremen at the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, returned to work late last week after approving a new contract with maritime employers.

The Bay of Fundy port had been shut down for 10 days as a result of a labor dispute. Eight vessels were tied up at the port prior to work resumption.

A spokesman for Local 273 of the International Longshoremen's Association said a compromise package was accepted by the port's 220 longshoremen Friday afternoon.

The longshoremen at Saint John had been without a contract since Dec. 31, 1987. The new contract includes an improved pension and welfare scheme and a 5.5 percent wage increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 1988.

The average wage goes up C$1 an hour to C$19 an hour on Jan. 1, 1990; then to C$20.20 an hour on Jan. 1, 1991; and to C$21.40 an hour on Jan. 1, 1992.



WASHINGTON - International Paper Co. has filed a complaint at the Federal Maritime Commission accusing Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. of charging $11,000 too much for transporting a shipment of wood pulp.

The focus of the complaint filed last week is a shipment of 15 40-foot containers of woodpulp in rolls being transported by the ocean carrier from the Port of New Orleans to Kobe, Japan, Feb. 5, 1987.

Officials at "K" Line were not immediately available for comment.

International Paper, headquartered in Memphis, alleges the carrier calculated the rate wrong and that led to overpayment. The paper company alleges "K" Line is violating shipping law by refusing to return the overcharges.

International Paper is seeking reparations of $11,012 plus interest.



WASHINGTON - A House maritime panel postponed this week's hearing on passenger cruise ship safety until April 19.

The Merchant Marine Subcommittee, a unit of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, will focus on safety equipment and the crew training standards of foreign-registered cruise ships that operate out of U.S. ports.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended stronger U.S. regulation of safety, documentation, manning and reporting requirements for foreign-flag cruise vessels.

Bush administration and public witnesses will testify at the subcommittee hearing.