Fleet Management

East Coast and Gulf Coast Port Workers Approve New Contract

April 10, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Fears in trucking about the possibility of a strike by longshoremen at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports can be laid to rest with the approval of a new labor contract by dockworkers.

Members of the International Longshoremen’s Association have overwhelming ratified a new six-year master contract, covering some 14,500 members. The union finally negotiated the agreement last month with the United States Maritime Alliance, representing container carriers, direct employers, and port associations serving the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States.

The vote ends more than a year of talks between employers and the ILA, a process that twice saw dockworkers coming close to having the first East Coast and Gulf Coast strike since 1977. 

The pact still faces approval by members of the U.S. Maritime alliance next week, but is expected to be approved. The new contact expires on Sept. 30, 2016.

The ILA reports a few locals were still reporting results to its headquarters as of late Tuesday evening, but overwhelming ratification was already secured based on the majority of ILA locals that had reported results.

Much attention throughout negotiations was also paid to the pending local agreement in the Port of New York and New Jersey between the ILA and New York Shipping Association. ILA says longshore workers up and down the coast voted for both the master contract and their respective local agreements, and members in New York and New Jersey coupled their acceptance of the master contract with solid approval of the local agreement, by a better than three to one margin.

Local contacts are still in negotiations is six port cities, but are expected to be wrapped up in the next few days with no problems.

Related Stories:

12/28/2012: East and Gulf Coast Port Strike Averted

2/4/2013: Strike Averted at East and Gulf Coast Ports

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