ILA talks break down: JOC article

For shippers, this puts a sudden crush of traffic to the West Coast back on the table, RIGHT as carriers are talking about putting another rate increase through in early September.  We’ll continue watching it.

From the Journal of Commerce:

ILA Contract Talks Break Down

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor | Aug 22, 2012 3:43PM GMT

Management’s ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer abruptly ends talks, including those for local contracts

Negotiations for a new International Longshoremen’s Association contract covering dockworkers at East and Gulf Coast ports broke down suddenly Wednesday, ILA spokesman James McNamara said.

The breakdown in contract talks is certain to cause shippers to step up contingency plans that many already have implemented as the current contract’s Sept. 30 expiration draws near. Those plans include accelerating shipments or diverting cargo to the West Coast, Canada or Mexico.

Committees representing the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance met Wednesday morning in anticipation of three days of talks in Delray Beach, Fla., but negotiations broke off after a 20-minute session. Negotiations for supplementary local contracts also have been suspended, McNamara said.

McNamara said ILA President Harold Daggett broke off talks after USMX presented a “take-it-or-leave-it” proposal and said management would not discuss continuing negotiations unless the ILA agreed not to require employers to “pay for inefficiencies.”

USMX officials were not immediately available.

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