NEW YORK The
International Longshoremens Association (ILA) and the
United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) have taken another step
toward a new master contract covering 15,000 workers at 14
major East and Gulf coast ports after both groups approved a
tentative agreement March 13.
"I am extremely pleased to
announce that (the) parties have approved their tentative
agreement for a successor master agreement," Federal Mediation
and Conciliation Service director George H. Cohen said in a
statement. "This monumental result ... paves the way for six
years of stable labor management relations covering the
Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports."
The two sides reached the
tentative agreement in early February (
amm.com, Feb. 4). The agreement must still be
ratified by the memberships of both organizations, according to
The two sides narrowly avoided a strike in late December by
extending the timeline for negotiations by some five weeks (
amm.com, Dec. 28).
One of the issues previously
holding up an agreement was container royalties, which are paid
by carriers to the union for containerized shipments (
amm.com, Dec. 21).
Under the terms of the tentative
agreement, the carriers will fund for the next six years annual
royalty payments of $211 million, the amount paid in 2011, plus
up to an additional $14 million for administrative expenses.
Any amount exceeding $225 million will be shared equally
between the two sides, according to a joint statement by the
ILA and USMX.
The new agreement also calls for
a $1-per-hour wage increase for workers in 2014, 2016 and 2017,
the groups said.
In addition to the master contract, ILA and the New York
Shipping Association (NYSA) have reached a tentative agreement
on a local contract for 3,250 workers at ports in New York and
New Jersey, according to the joint statement.