U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen said in a statement today that the U.S. Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen’s Association "made progress" during the past three days of contract negotiations held in Galloway Township, N.J.
He said both sides "agreed that the negotiations will continue under our auspices.”
USMX and the ILA are trying to negotiate a master contract for container cargo handled at 14 U.S. East and Gulf coast ports.
Though a calendar for further talks was going to be discussed Thursday afternoon, a source said it seemed likely that next week negotiation on local issues at various ports will resume. Last week, the ILA walked out of negotiations with the New York Shipping Association when employers wanted to discuss modification of work practices in the port.
It is likely that further negotiation on master contract issues will occur during the week of Jan. 27-Feb. 2.
The contract between the ILA and employers is set to expire on Feb. 6. Originally, the contract was to expire Sept. 30, but was extended for 90 days, then once again until Feb. 6.
Cohen said “due to the sensitivity of these negotiations, we will have no further comment at this time.” - Chris Dupin