Employers of dockworkers in the Port of New York and New Jersey, and the International Longshoremen's Association are seeking an injunction against the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, seeking to prevent the commission from amending its rules and regulations so that a rule that applies to employers of deep-sea longshoremen would be extended to employers of ILA workers who repair and maintain containers, chassis and cargo-handling equipment.
The request for the injunction is the latest development in a lawsuit that was filed last month.
The plaintiffs say that in August, the Waterfront Commission advised the New York Shipping Association (NYSA) that it would require employers to certify that the selection of new employees “was made in a fair and nondiscriminatory basis in accordance with the requirements of the laws of the United States and the States of New York and New Jersey dealing with equal employment opportunities.”
NYSA and Metropolitan Marine Maintenance Contractors Association objected to that amendment on the grounds that the certification requirement lacks statutory authority and would alter the longstanding collectively bargained methodology for hiring and registering so-called “A” registrants who do maintenance and repair work.
Walter Arsenault, the executive director of the Waterfront Commission, said his agency has approved the addition of some 180-200 maintenance and repair workers over the past two years and that there are six applications pending that were received this week. He said the commission has also told employers who want to add 10 mechanics between now and January that the industry would be allowed "to apportion them in any way they want among the terminals, ten without the certification required in the new rules and regs, so as not to hinder the efficiency of the port, but they never got back to us."