Bekins


Sponsored By:

   The Nation  |  Business  |  Equipment  |  Features


East Coast port negotiations still eyed with concern as talks resume

Talks on the master contract between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) are to resume this week and it’s hoped a long-term agreement can be reached before the Feb. 6 extension deadline.

The Trucker Staff

1/14/2013

Negotiations at the Port of New York/New Jersey have broken down, but it’s not clear how that might impact a coast-wide master contract which already has been extended twice, media sources reported today.

Talks on the master contract between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) are to resume this week and it’s hoped a long-term agreement can be reached before the Feb. 6 extension deadline.

The National Industrial Transportation League, representing a host of U.S. manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters and transportation and logistics providers in a letter dated Friday, Jan. 10 to Harold Daggett, president of the ILA, and James Capo, chairman and CEO of the USMX, said the groups “applauded” the ILA and USMX “for coming to an agreement without engaging in a supply-chain disruption.”

However, they urged both parties “to continue their focused efforts to reach a new long-term contract in advance of the Feb. expiration.”

The National Retail Federation late last week echoed the same concerns:

“The strike deadline came and went at the end of December, but the threat of closing down nearly half our nation’s port capacity has only been postponed, not eliminated,” National Retail Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “The uncertainty of what will happen in February has retailers implementing expensive contingency plans yet again and is a burden our economy cannot afford.”

The latest extension of contract talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance runs through February 6 and comes after previous strike deadlines in September and October. The union and management are scheduled to meet this week under the supervision of federal mediators, but the ILA walked away from local talks affecting the Ports of New York and New Jersey earlier this week. A strike would close 14 ports from Maine to Texas where nearly 15,000 dockworkers handle 40 percent of the nation’s ocean cargo.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.

Celadon