The International Longshoremen's Association revealed details of the tentative master contract it has negotiated with the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX)
, posting them on the ILA Website on Wednesday.
The six-year contract would expire Sept. 30, 2018 and provide ILA members with a $3 increase over three years - a $1 increase on Oct. 1,
2014; another $1 increase on Oct. 1, 2016 and lastly a $1
increase on Oct. 1, 2017. The starting salary for new members remains $20 per hour. A wage progression formula that ramps up the pay of workers that make less than the highest straight-time basic wage rate will see their salaries boosted to the same level as the highest paid workers over a six-year, rather than a nine-year period.
The ILA noted the agreement is "subject to the drafting of final contract language and
acceptance by the ILA membership" and the new master contract will not take effect until all local bargaining is concluded.
James A. Capo, chairman and chief executive officer of USMX, said "the summary as posted on the ILA Website is accurate, and local negotiations are progressing," but could offer no comment beyond that.
Eligible union members will continue to receive health care coverage under the union's MILA program at no cost.
ILA detailed the compromise it had reached with union members over container royalties, payments that are made to longshoremen based on the weight of containerized cargo in the port they work.
USMX said "container royalties were first established in 1960 as a way to protect
ILA members in New York from job losses created by containerization.
Today, thousands of ILA workers who were not alive in 1960 continue to
receive container royalty payments that in 2011 totaled $211 million –
an average of $15,500 for ILA workers at the 14 East and Gulf coast
USMX originally said it wanted to cap the payments, using the
excess not as savings for employers, but to help pay for other benefits
for ILA workers. Disagreement over what to do about royalties led to a breakdown in the talks in December.
The two sides reached a compromise and the ILA said it will provide a minimum coastwise guarantee of $211 million in container royalty for each year of the contract and that $14 million of administrative expenses will also be covered. It said all container royalty over those amounts will be evenly split between USMX and ILA.
It said container royalty will be centrally collected according to a plan that has yet to be finalized and a Carrier-ILA Container Royalty Fund No. 5 (CR-5 Fund) that was established Oct. 1, 2009, will continue. That fund, administered by a board comprised of an equal number of trustees appointed by the ILA and USMX, provides financial assistance to joint management-ILA employee benefit plans other than pensions.
Other provisions include:
- Container Freight Station Fund will continue for both
the operation of container freight stations and training with a
contribution of 25 cents per ton in the first three years and subject to
review in the last three years and a CFS subsidy adjustment in each of
the six years.
- Local fringe benefit contribution will increase by $1 per hour.
- Random drug testing will be used in New York and New
Jersey only if the Waterfront Commission agrees to stop testing ILA
- New language has been negotiated to protect those who have been displaced due to new technology and automation.
- Additional language has been negotiated to preserve chassis maintenance and repair work.
- New language has been negotiated to beef up enforcement by
the Jurisdiction Committee of ILA jurisdiction, including a $10,000 fine
in certain circumstances.
- Additional jurisdiction language has been negotiated.
- Major damage criteria and maintenance jurisdiction have been expanded.
Jim McNamara, a spokesman for the ILA, said the proposed master contract has been enthusiastically received by members of the union during meetings this week by various locals.
The union is still bargaining with local employer groups such as the New York Shipping Association.
Its Wage Scale Committee, a group of about 200 union delegates, will meet in Tampa, Fla., on March 12-14. The committee is the group that decides whether or not to recommend to union members to approve the union's master contract with employers. - Chris Dupin