Members of the New York Shipping Association voted on Friday to ratify the terms of a new, six-year contract with members of the International Longshoremen's Association.
The vote by employers followed approval of both the local contract in New York and master contract covering 14 container ports on the U.S. East and Gulf coasts by ILA rank-and-file members earlier in the week. The union said 88 percent of its members voted in favor of the master contract and local agreements were approved in other ports as well.
Ratification by employers is a sign "of their resolve to implement the changes that are important to the Port of New York and New Jersey," said Joseph C. Curto, NYSA’s president. "This new agreement provides the means to effect changes, but the words alone won’t be enough."
“Management and union leadership will focus on the significant hard work ahead of us to implement this new agreement and assure the future competitiveness of the port,” said John Nardi, NYSA’s executive vice president.
The agreement includes a provision for a relief gang system - a variation of shift work and a special “window pension benefit,” which NYSA said will induce up to 400 industry workers to retire in the next 12 months.
NYSA said a robust training, recruiting and hiring plan contained in the contract, along with the implementation of a random drug and alcohol testing program will enhance the safety of the port’s work force.
NYSA represents the terminal operators and ocean carriers, who operate in the Port of New York and New Jersey, and negotiates the collective bargaining agreement with the ILA as well as the Port Police and Guards Union on their behalf. - Chris Dupin