The International Longshoreman Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) concluded several months of on-and-off-again negotiations agreeing on a tentative six-year master contract for both East and Gulf coast dockworkers.
The deal, if approved by rank-and-file ILA members, would ensure normal port operations on both coasts until at least 2024 paralleling a similar labor deal for U.S. West Coast ports lasting until 2022. This agreement removes the uncertainty hanging over the Gulf and East coast ports as the expiration date of September 30 was approaching. Negotiations also broke down in December 2017 after a disagreement over the contract’s definition of automated terminals. West Coast labor disruptions, including a 10-day lockout in 2002 and months of delays during those contract negotiations in 2014 to 2015, triggered a shift in cargo volumes away from the West Coast and towards East and Gulf coast ports after leaving hundreds of ships full of cargo stranded offshore.
For more information, please contact Billy Johnson.
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