Representatives of the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) are scheduled to continue negotiating a new contract on Wednesday and Thursday following an all-day bargaining session on Tuesday.
The union and employer group are meeting at the Seaview Hotel in Galloway Township, N.J., and reportedly were working after 5 p.m. on Tuesday in what the ILA described as "intensive negotiations."
The two sides are being assisted in talks by representatives of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Shippers are watching the talks nervously after ILA negotiators walked out of a negotiating session to discuss work practices in the Port of New York and New Jersey with the New York Shipping Association on Jan. 9.
The ILA on Monday posted a letter from the leaders of five other unions expressing support for the dockworkers. Those unions were the Masters, Mates, and Pilots; Marine Engineers Beneficial Association; International Longshore and Warehouse Union and its Inland Boatman's Union and American Radio Association affiliates.
The contract between the ILA and USMX was originally slated to expire on Sept. 30, 2012. The contract was extended until Dec. 29. A day before a possible strike, the two sides agreed to continue negotiating and the contract has been extended through Feb. 6. - Chris Dupin