On September 6, the International Longshoremen’s Association announced that port members from Maine to Texas unanimously approved a six-year contract extension with the United States Maritime Alliance (www.usmx.com). The union said the deal “will bring generous pay increases, landmark protections against job-killing fully automated ports, and labor peace and stability through September 30, 2024”.
The vote was the last step in resolving some of the long-standing issues between port labor unions and port employers in the East Coast and Gulf Coast ports. The newly ratified contract bans the use of fully automated equipment for the duration of the contract and demands port employers to negotiate job protection strategies with the local unions prior to the deployment of any machinery “devoid of human interaction”.
“This is a great day for the ILA and our union membership,” said ILA President Harold Daggett. “ILA members covered under this ILA‐USMX Master Agreement can now look to a bright future where their salaries will increase and the threat of job loss from fully automated terminals, semi‐automated terminals, and automated equipment is eliminated. Our national health care plan, MILA remains the strong and our members will benefit from increases in Container Royalty.
USMX Chairman and CEO David F. Adam called the agreement “a fair and equitable contract benefiting not only our members, the BCOs, and supply chain partners, but also for the ILA and their families.”
The new contract goes into effect on October 1, 2018 and runs through September 30, 2024. The current contract was set to expire at the end of September.
The International Longshoremen’s Association is a labor union representing upwards of 65,000 longshore workers along the East Coast of the United States and Canada, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, and inland waterways. The ILA has approximately 200 local affiliates in port cities in these areas.
The United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. (USMX) represents employers of the East and Gulf Coast longshore industry. Membership consists of container carriers and carrier alliances worldwide (including the largest carriers such as Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd, & Maersk), all major Marine Terminal Operators, and Port Associations representing each port on the East and Gulf Coasts (including the Boston and New York Shipping Associations). USMX’s members are responsible for the transportation and handling of cargo shipped to and from the United States. While serving as the representative of the Management groups in Master Contract bargaining, the Alliance also articulates industry positions on regulatory and safety issues; oversees coast-wide training, retraining, certification, and recertification programs; and is responsible for administering coast-wide fringe benefit funds and programs.