The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Thursday that at a meeting this week with the New York Shipping Association and Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor over hiring additional longshoremen there was "a great deal of progress."
Last month, the International Longshoremen's Association, the union that represents dock workers, and NYSA put out a joint statement in which they complained about what they saw as "the slow-moving bureaucratic pace" of the Waterfront Commission in deciding whether to expand the number of workers in the port. The commission regulates the number of workers on the docks in the bi-state port, does background checks, and investigates crime and corruption. It is independent from the port authority.
The commission has announced plans to hold hearings this month on the NYSA/ILA request to add 532 longshore employees and 150 checker/clerks to the port to alleviate labor
shortages and to replace 300 longshoremen who are expected
to retire early next year.
John Nardi, the president of the NYSA, said last month that "any delay in implementing the hiring program as defined by
the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) will have a severe impact on cargo flow and a resultant
negative economic impact."
The port authority said at this week's meeting all parties felt "there is a real need for
additional employees on the docks. All parties made a great deal of
progress, which when effected, will result in the hiring of hundreds of
ILA members in the short term.
"Though work needs to be done to finalize
the agreement, we are optimistic as we continue to work with both
parties toward a settlement. All parties agree that the Waterfront
Commission was and is not delaying hiring, and applicants are actively
being referred and processed. All stakeholders continue to work in a
cooperative fashion to put people to work as quickly possible.”
The ILA did not have an immediate comment.