Hearings to scrutinize NY/NJ longshore hiring
The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor said it will hold hearings on Nov. 14, 18 and 25 on a request made in September by the New York Shipping Association and International Longshoremen's Association to add 532 longshoremen and 150 checkers and clerks to alleviate shortages of labor at terminals in New York and New Jersey.
The New York Shipping Association (NYSA) and International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) complained today in a statement about “the slow moving pace of the commission’s response” to their desire to expand the workforce.
A new six-year labor agreement between the NYSA and ILA offered incentives to some older ILA members to retire, and labor shortages were said to be a contributing factor to congestion at marine terminals in Elizabeth and Newark, N.J., this summer.
The commission polices the docks by performing background checks on waterfront workers and also regulates the supply of longshoremen who handle cargo on New York/New Jersey area docks.
The commission said it "has independently recognized that there is a need for additional labor” and that it will determine at the hearings the number of individuals it would be appropriate to add to the deep sea Longshoremen’s register and to “determine the appropriate manner for the recruitment, referral, selection, hiring, and training of individuals to be included in that register.”
The NYSA and ILA said they plan to recruit new employees using a plan that calls for 51 percent of the new workforce to be comprised of military veterans, while the balance will be NYSA referrals (24 percent) and ILA referrals (25 percent).
John Nardi, president of the NYSA, said the use of veterans as a pool from which to recruit workers is expected to help create a more diverse workforce.
The commission also said it plans to scrutinize recruitment, referral, selection, hiring, and training of “A” register longshoremen.
“A” register employees do work such as the maintenance of machinery at ports and include members of Locals 1804-1 and 1814 in the port. Local 1804-1 is the local that was formerly headed by ILA President Harold Daggett and is now headed by his son, Dennis.
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