After negotiations broke off in December over automation, the International Longshore Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) are back at the table and are, reportedly, making good progress on a new six-year contract. The contract will cover operations at East and Gulf Coast ports.
Last August, the West Coast labor union, ILWU, agreed to a three-year contract extension. The new contract will expire on July 1, 2022. We appreciate the extension and look forward to peace on the waterfront.
We’re not sure if we take solace in the fact that Oakland is not alone in its troubles or not. The Port of Baltimore suffered through a three-day longshore labor strike last month. As you may recall, this past spring, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) ratified their coast-wide master contract covering all the ports on the east and gulf coasts. After the master contract was signed, local contracts involving the work and rules of specific ports were still being negotiated. One such negotiation was between the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore and ILA Local 333. ILA members rejected the latest contract offer and went on strike. An arbitrator was called in, and it was ruled the strike violated the no strike clause in the master contract. Workers had to return to the docks on October 18th for at least a 90-day negotiation period.