East Cost Longshoremen Strike Apparently Averted As Union And Terminal Operators, Shippers Reach Tentative Pact
February 3, 2013 1:18 AM EST
Union negotiators for dockworkers on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts and negotiators for port operators and maritime shippers have reached a tentative labor pact that will avert a potentially devastating economic blow to the U.S. economic recovery.
Federal mediator George Cohen said late Friday that both sides, the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO (ILA), and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, agreed on terms of a “master contract,” an umbrella agreement that governs labor relations in all 15 major ports from Maine to Texas. These ports handle about 35 percent of U.S. imports.
It was further agreed that there will be no work stoppage as negotiators hammer out local agreements, pacts specific to each port.
The news comes as a huge relief to U.S. retailers who have worried that a strike by the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO, which represents about 14,500 workers, would cost more than $1 billion per day.
Negotiators were operating under a Wednesday deadline to avoid what would have been the first longshoremen's strike in 35 years.
"I am extremely pleased to announce that the parties have reached a tentative agreement for a comprehensive successor Master Agreement,” Cohen said. “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. Those local negotiations are ongoing and will continue without interruption to any port operation.”
A strike would have hit the New York-New Jersey area particularly hard. About 3,250 longshoremen load and unload boats on ports in the area. Port activity directly supports nearly 200,000 jobs in the New York area alone. A one-week dockworkers strike would cost the region an esimated $110 million in economic output and $136 millino in personal income. Even without sympathy strikes by dockworkers in other ports, a New York area job action would have cost the U.S. $1 billion to $2 billion per day in economic activity.
Moreover, a strike would have hammered the nation's fragile economic recovery because consumers, who constitute about 70 percent of the U.S. economy, would have to absorb the extra cost of goods as a result of higher transportation charges.
Besides the Port of New York and New Jersey, the ports involved in the contract negotiations are Hampton Roads, Va., Houston, Savannah, Ga., Boston, Delaware River, Baltimore, Wilmington, N.C., Charleston, S.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Port Everglades, Fla., Miami, Tampa, Fla., Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- In Photos, Typhoon Rammasun Blasts the Philippines
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Air Carrier to Give $5,000 Assistance to Victims’ Families; Bankruptcy Looms as 2 Air Mishaps Would Cost Firm Minimum $80.55 M Compensation
- Foxconn And Pegatron Corp Readies For Apple's iPhone 6 Mass Production This Month
- KFC & McDonald’s Accused of Serving ‘Expired’ Meat to Customers
- California Fruits Recalled in USA and Canada for Possible Listeria Contamination
- Malaysian Airlines Ukraine Tragedy Hits Asian Stock Markets
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Soon Along with 2 More HTC Android Tablets – Reports
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Sony PlayStation 4 Outsells a Resurgent Xbox One in June
- Killer Xiaomi Mi4 at $369 Likely to Come With 5.0-Inch Display, Snapdragon 801 Processor, 3GB RAM and More
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- NVIDIA Shield Gaming Tablet with Tegra K1 SoC Reported to be Released on July 29