Monday, October 15, 2012
ILA-USMX update: "Productive negotiations" to resume this week
The labor contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen's Union and the group representing shipping industry management at East and Gulf Coast ports - the United Maritime Alliance - wrapped up "five days of productive negotiations" on Saturday, as both parties plan to reconvene this week, according to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
"I wish to commend the parties for their hard work and commitment to this process. The parties are making good progress on a number of difficult issues at the full committee and subcommittee levels," said FMCS Director George H. Cohen in a statement on Sunday.
A collective sigh of relief was heard from the shipping industry in mid-September over the news the ILA and USMX had agreed to extend the deadline of their collective bargaining agreement from September 30 to December 29 in an effort to do so "for the good of the country" in order to avoid any work disruption, after the FMCA announced it would be presiding over the jump-started negotiations.
News of the labor-management contract extension to year's end came during the critical peak shipping season and reportedly allayed industry fears over what had been the potential for disrupted, and costly re-routed, supply chains.
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