East and Gulf Coast port negotiations continue under federal mediation
Last week, negotiations for a new Master Contract covering the East and Gulf Coast ports resumed between the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX). In a brief statement released on Jan. 17 by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), which has overseen the talks since Sept. 2012, it was reported that the parties made "progress" and agreed to continue their talks under the supervision of federal mediators. The negotiations followed a Jan. 9 walkout by the ILA in their talks with the New York Shipping Association (NYSA) for a local contract at the Port of New York and New Jersey. With no word on the status of the local contract talks, TGA continues to urge members to utilize this letter template to inform their Congressional Representatives of this important issue prior to the Feb. 6 contract extension expiration date.