Wednesday, December 5, 2012

International Longshoremen's Association ILA - Labor Update

In light of the recent issues in California, I wanted to write to provide an update on the current situations regarding the current labor situation in America’s ports.
Negotiators reached a tentative agreement to end the crippling strike at La/Long Beach ports late Tuesday, less than 2 hours after Federal Mediators arrived from Washington DC. The strike began November 27 when about 400 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s local clerical workers walked off their jobs. The walkout quickly closed 10 of the 14 Ports Terminals, when members of the clerks sister unions refused to cross picket lines.
No terms of the deal were released, but the workers union released a statement that it had received new protections preventing jobs from Being outsourced.
This settlement does not include the pending actions in the nations East and Gulf Ports. The Master Contract covering the workers in these port areas is set to expire on December 31, 2012, and no agreement has been made. This threatens a similar strike in the East Coast and Gulf ports. In a discussion I had with a Port Official, I was advised that he did not have a prediction on if a similar tact of a brief strike would be attempted in these ports to force a settlement. To date a strike authorization vote has not been taken, but this official that asked not to be named, advised that Union workers are scheduled to meet next week to consider this possibility.
As this action would involve the entire East Coast and Gulf Ports, diversion of cargo will be difficult, as the smaller Canadian ports will be overwhelmed with cargo if this action takes place. We will look at options as the situation develops.
As information develops and more information is available, I will share it with you.
Please advise any questions you may have on this or any other subject.
Bill Marston CEO
Service Shipping Inc.
1550 E Higgins Road, Suite 108
Elk Grove Village IL 60007
Office: 847-427-1775
Fax: 847-427-1790

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