Carriers Give Approval to Gulf Coast and East Cost Port Worker Contract

April 18, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Worries in trucking about the possibility of a Gulf Coast and East Cost strike by longshoremen can finally be put away for several years.

Members of The U.S. Maritime Alliance, representing container carriers, direct employers and port associations, have ratified a new six-year master contract with the International Longshoremen’s Association, representing some 14,500 workers at ports from Maine to Texas.

The move follows ILA members signing off on the deal last week by 88%, capping what has been more than a year of talks.

In separate votes last week ILA members at 11 of the 14 ports, including the largest on the East Coast, the Port of New York and New Jersey, approved separate local agreements, while published reports indicate parts of other local supplemental contacts remain incomplete.

The previous master contract expired at the end of last September, with both sides extending talks twice and a federal mediator being brought in. There was some fear, including in trucking, that the stage was being set for the first East Coast and Gulf Coast-wide strike since the 1970’s, bringing freight movements at the facilities to a halt.

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