Dear Valued Customer,
No new meetings are scheduled, but both sides are being pressed — from Washington and industry groups — to extend the contract past its Dec. 29 expiration. Whether the pressure will break the deadlock is unclear. ILA President Harold Daggett says that if there’s no extension, the union is prepared to carry through with its threat to strike. Until there’s movement on the royalty issue, bargaining is suspended. At this point, neither side seems willing to budge.
Daggett has authorization from union delegates to call a strike when the contract expires. If there’s no extension, picket lines could go up as early as Dec. 30, although there’s speculation that the ILA might delay a strike until after its paid New Year’s Day holiday.
The strike would affect containerized and roll-on, roll-off cargo carried or handled by carriers or terminal operators that have signed the ILA-USMX coastwide master contract.
The ILA will continue working breakbulk ships and cruise vessels, which unlike container lines are not under the master contract and could switch to non-union stevedores if the ILA struck. The ILA says it will continue to handle military cargoes and perishables, including containerized bananas imported by fruit companies that aren’t under the master contract. However, a growing volume of reefer containers move on container ships operated by major carriers that are master-contract signatories and would be hit by a strike. Many military shipments also move alongside commercial cargoes in container ships that would be idled.
Major container lines’ ships won’t be worked in East and Gulf Coast ports. Carriers advise they will implement contingency plans and advise customers accordingly.
The strike would affect all major container ports along the East and Gulf coasts, and all major container lines serving those ports. There are a few small non-ILA terminals, such as Chester, Pa., used by Independent Container Line, but all major container lines and terminal operators are contract signatories.
The following carriers in South Florida have advised us that they do not expect to be affected by the strike:
Chiquita / Great White Fleet
Dole Ocean Cargo
If you have any questions please contact us at 305-471-8989.
Thank you for your continued support,