Monday, June 11, 2012
USMX to attend ILA wage scale meetings later this month
In a message posted to his membership online, James A. Capo, the chairman and chief executive of the employer group that deals with waterfront labor along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts, advised a bargaining committee would resume negotiations with their counterparts in Florida later this month after they apparently broke down there in March.
After approximately two weeks of heated public exchanges via letters posted on the websites of the United Maritime Alliance and International Longshore Union by each organization’s respective leaders, the two sides appear to be headed back to the bargaining table where new automated technology implementation has been a centerpiece of contention in the lead-up to a new master contract as the current one expires end of September.
Capo said in a letter to the USMX membership dated May 31 that the leader of the ILA, Harold Daggett, "fails to recognize…that the current Collective Bargaining Agreement mandates that both sides negotiate over the impact new technology might have on the work force."
Daggett responded to Capo’s charge in a letter posted on the ILA website a few days later.
"My concern is that USMX wants to effectively eliminate the workforce through automation. If that happens, the wage and benefit package will not matter, since there will be very few ILA members working in your new automated terminals," Daggett wrote.
Other un-resolved issues the two sides have openly discussed to date include jurisdiction over chassis maintenance and whether to weigh all import containers at the dock.
Capo contended in his May 31 letter that the ILA’s chief negotiator doesn’t want to negotiate on the central issues at hand between the two sides.
"Daggett has put forth several demands, or 'hurdles,' as he calls them, but has adamantly refused to negotiate or even discuss these or any other issues at the bargaining table unless management first agrees to his demands," Capo wrote.
Daggett subsequently invited Capo and the USMX to a meeting of his Wage Scale Committee that commences June 27 in Delray Beach, Florida that he said could run through June 29.
"I am fully committed to addressing all of these issues and believe that our time would be better spent at the negotiating table," Daggett wrote.
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