Tags: Port | Shutdown | Dockworkers | longshoremen

Strike Averted at East Coast Ports With 30-Day Pact Extension

Friday, 28 Dec 2012 11:55 AM

 

Dockworkers along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico agreed Friday to extend their contract for more than a month, averting a weekend strike that could have crippled major ports from Boston to Houston and bottled up billions of dollars' worth of cargo.

Talks aimed at reaching a new contract covering the 14,500 longshoremen will continue during the extension, which runs through Feb. 6.

The dockworkers' union and an alliance of port operators and shipping lines agreed to the extension after resolving one of the stickier points in their negotiations, involving royalty payments to longshoremen for each container they unload. Details were not disclosed.

Federal mediator George Cohen said the agreement on royalties was "a major positive step forward."

"While some significant issues remain in contention, I am cautiously optimistic that they can be resolved," he said.

The contract between the International Longshoremen's Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance originally expired in September. The two sides agreed to extend it once before, for 90 days, but it had been set to expire again at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.

As recently as Dec. 19, the president of the longshoremen's union, Harold Daggett, had said a strike was expected.

A walkout would have crippled the loading and unloading of a vast number of products, including electronics and clothing, and made it more difficult for U.S. manufacturers to get parts and raw materials at a time when the economy is in shaky condition. The ports involved handle about 40 percent of all U.S. container cargo.

Business groups expressed relief that the two sides had agreed to keep the docks running.

"A coast-wide port shutdown is not an option. It would have severe economic ramifications for the local, national and even global economies and wreak havoc on the supply chain," said National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay.

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said: "We're pleased the parties are going to continue their work at the negotiating table and continue to urge them to reach an agreement as quickly as possible."

Major ports that would have been frozen included the massive terminals serving the New York City area and critical seaports in Savannah, Ga., Houston, and Hampton Roads, Va.

Other ports that would have been affected are in Boston; the Philadelphia area; Baltimore; Wilmington, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Miami; Tampa, Fla.; Mobile, Ala.; and New Orleans.

Longshoremen on the West Coast have a separate contract.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

As Storm Rushes In, Airlines Cancel While Salt Sellers Gain

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 22:32 PM

Businesses large and small are feeling the effects of a huge snowstorm sweeping into the Northeast Monday. For some, win . . .

CBO: Deficit to Dip in 2015 as Era of Dramatic Declines Ends

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 15:21 PM

The U.S. budget deficit will decline slightly to $468 billion this fiscal year from $483 billion last year, the Congress . . .

Obama Announces $4 Billion in India Investment and Lending Deals

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 10:37 AM

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday announced $4 billion in government-backed investments and lending to India, as he  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved