Late last Friday, a federal mediator announced that the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) have reached a tentative agreement on a new, six-year union contract covering more than 14,500 dockworkers at 15 major East and Gulf Coast container ports from Maine to Houston. The current contract is set to expire on Wednesday and had already been extended twice at the last minute.
In his statement, George H. Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service said, “I am extremely pleased to announce that the parties have reached a tentative agreement for a comprehensive successor master agreement. The tentative agreement is subject to the ratification procedures of both parties and, as well, to agreements being achieved in a number of local union negotiations.” He added that the local negotiations “are ongoing and will continue without interruption to any port operation.”
Cohen stated that specific details of the tentative agreement are not being release “out of respect for the parties’ ratification processes, and consistent with the agency’s long-standing confidentiality policy.” He noted that the deal is still subject to ratification and additional union negotiations.
The report also noted that the two sides have agreed to extend the contract an additional week, to Wednesday, in an effort to reach an agreement on the remaining issues.
At this time, we are cautiously optimistic about the tentative agreement. We will continue to keep you updated as more information is released so make sure to subscribe to the OL&T blog for the latest updates.
Source: Houston Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal
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