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Labour deal for the US East/Gulf Coast

The International Longshoremen’s Association has agreed a new 6-year Master Contract.

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The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has successfully steered the Master Contract extension it negotiated with the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) through its voting process, giving vital certainty over labour peace on the US East and Gulf Coasts from now until September 2024.


The ILA has talked tough on automation throughput the negotiations, and the current provisions around “new technology” in the current Master Contract have been replaced with new language that, says the ILA, brings in “landmark protections against job-killing fully automated ports.”

“This is a great day for the ILA and our union membership,” said President Daggett. “ILA members covered under this ILA-USMX Master Agreement can now look to a bright future where their salaries will increase and the threat of job loss from fully automated terminals, semi-automated terminals and automated equipment is eliminated. Our national health care plan, MILA remains the strong and our members will benefit from increases in Container Royalty.

Daggett praised his ILA colleagues for their efforts. “Our ILA Wage Scale Committee can be very proud of the contract they helped produced and our membership ratified,” added ILA President Daggett. “They put in long, oft-times gruelling hours to bring home a contract that I think represents the best collective bargaining agreement in ILA history and maybe even in the entire history of Organized Labor.

“This extension not only protects the benefits ILA members already have, but also enhances these benefits to ensure that they are compensated appropriately for all your hard work,” said President Daggett. “I am particularly pleased with the jurisdictional protections that the ILA has negotiated that will ensure ILA jobs will be preserved in the years ahead. I believe that this proposed extension represents a giant step forward in the collective bargaining history of the ILA.”


While the final wording has not been made public, the ILA’s statement to its members before the vote explains that “fully automated” terminals may not be implemented during the contract, but also sets out a new process for enabling terminal operators to implement new technology, including semi-automation, providing both parties agree on workforce protections. Each new technology must be approved on a terminal by terminal basis.

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