INDUSTRY PETITIONS FMC TO REVIEW CHASSIS INSPECTION PROGRAM

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Institute of International Container Lessors (IICL) have sent letters to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) seeking their intervention to end mandatory chassis inspections at marine terminals.

As part of the last round of labor negotiations on both coasts, the management groups (PMA and USMX) granted the unions (ILWU and ILA) jursidiction over chassis inspection and maintenance. However, the ATA and IICL contend neither the union nor the management groups have the legal right to inspect or maintain this equipment. The ATA and IICL argue that since neither the union nor management groups owns chassis and since the actual equipment owners are not party to the contract, the chassis inspection program is illegal under federal law. Furthermore, they assert the inspections are redundant and are creating increased truck turn times and added congestion.

On the other side of the fence, the unions are digging in their heels.  The ILA, who announced they will begin negotiating a new contract a full three years early, has said they have no intention of budging on this subject.  The ILWU does not plan to give in either. In fact, they assert the ocean carriers divested themselves of chassis specifically to erode union jurisdiction.