ILA, Great Lakes Employers OK Contract

ILA, Great Lakes Employers OK Contract

The International Longshoremen’s Association and its stevedore employers at 15 U.S. Great Lakes ports have tentatively agreed to a five-year master contract covering breakbulk and bulk grain cargoes.

The Great Lakes agreement is separate from the ILA’s East and Gulf Coast contract with United States Maritime Alliance.

John D. Baker Jr., president of the ILA’s Great Lakes District Council, said about 4,000 workers are covered by the Lakes contract. The agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1. The union has been working under a previous agreement that expired Dec. 31.

Complete coverage of ILA-USMX negotiations

Baker said the new contract raises wages, improves benefits and updates the agreement’s drug and alcohol policy. He said supplemental local agreements covering work rules and other port-specific issues are expected to be negotiated within the next 90 days.

Baker and Keith Flagg, vice president of operations at Federal Marine Terminals, said the union and employers were happy with the deal, which they agreed on this week at the meetings of the ILA’s Great Lakes division in Tampa, Fla.

Contact Joseph Bonney at jbonney@joc.com and follow him at twitter.com/JosephBonney.