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Report states Port of New York and New Jersey longshoremen reach deal with NY Shippers Association

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
March 11, 2013

Late last week, longshoremen at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached a tentative six-year labor agreement with the New York Shippers Association, with the agreement coming one day before a Friday, March 8 deadline, according to a Reuters report.

According to the Reuters report roughly 4,500 longshoremen and women work at the Port of New York and New Jersey—or roughly a third of all longshoremen on the East Coast. And it added that the port handles about 3 million containers annually, mostly through three main terminals in New Jersey. The ILA represents about 14,500 dock workers at East and Gulf Coast ports.

This development comes roughly one month after the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), an alliance of container carriers, direct employers, and port associations serving United States-based East and Gulf Coasts, and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the largest union of maritime workers in North America, reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract.

That

February ILA-USMX tentative agreement came in slightly ahead of the February 6 deadline, with the original deadline of September 30 pushed to December 29 and then to this week.

These negotiations are very significant in that they affect 14 East and Gulf Coast ports that cumulatively represent 95 percent of all containerized shipments—and 110 million tons of import and export cargo—to the Eastern seaboard, with last week’s agreement at the Port of New York and New Jersey representing a significant chunk of that cargo.

The ILA and USMX will meet Tuesday through Thursday this week, where the tentative master contract will go before a union committee for approval and then move to members to ratify, Reuters said. And the report said that the master contract is also contingent on the ability of workers to reach additional agreements for individual ports, where work rules and other local issues still have to be hammered out, with those ongoing.

As LM has reported, ILA officials noted in March that since 1977 ILA and USMX have successfully negotiated nine new Master Contracts without any disruption in operations, with the current contract in effect since 2004 and then subsequently extended for two years in 2010.

But concerns have remained heightened, due to the ten-day 2002 longshore contract dispute on the West Coast, which some estimates indicate cost the U.S. economy several billion dollars per day and negatively impacted various key sectors within the economy.

And shippers have been cautious and careful about planning for the unknown when assessing how these negotiations could impact their supply chain operations.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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