Some Local Talks Continue as ILA Prepares for Vote

Some Local Talks Continue as ILA Prepares for Vote

International Longshoremen’s Association members will vote Tuesday on a six-year coastwide master contract covering 14,500 dockworkers in East and Gulf Coast ports.

Negotiators for the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance agreed on the contract March 13 after a year of often-acrimonious bargaining that twice brought the union to the brink of its first coastwide strike in 35 years.

ILA President Harold Daggett has urged union members to ratify the contract and has predicted ratification.

The new coastwide agreement raises pay, gives new hires a quicker progression to top pay, guarantees container royalty payments, and contains provisions to protect workers displaced by technology and to ensure ILA jurisdiction over chassis repairs.

Complete coverage of ILA-USMX negotiations

The master contract is supplemented by local contracts covering work rules, pensions and other port-specific issues. Negotiations were dominated by a lengthy standoff over the local agreement for the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The New York-New Jersey local agreement between the ILA and the New York Shipping Association sets productivity goals, establishes regular work shifts, creates early-retirement incentives, reduces staffing requirements, and paves the way for elimination of no-show and low-show jobs.

Bargaining on pensions and other local issues in Hampton Roads, Baltimore and Philadelphia continued after last month’s tentative agreement on the coastwide contract.

Negotiations were still going on in Philadelphia on Monday, but no update was available on the status of local talks in Hampton Roads and Baltimore.

Workers in all ports will vote Tuesday on the master contract Tuesday, ILA spokesman James McNamara said. Results will be tallied after voting ends for Gulf Coast locals at 7 p.m. CDT.

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