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Container Royalty Will Be Protected, Pledges ILA President Harold Daggett, As Union Continues To Fight For Best Contract For Members

USMX Attacks Container Royalty In Negotiations and On Website; 8-Hour Guarantee and 7-man Lashing Gang Will Be Protected

United States Maritime Alliance, on its company website, terms Container Royalty as "another form of compensation for ILA workers who are among the nation's most highly compensated." Never mind those ILA members have, through the years, helped employers achieve record profits. Now they want to grab more money away from the ILA and its members by placing a cap on Container Royalty.

Preventing a cap on Container Royalty is one of the key battles facing ILA President Harold J. Daggett as he continues to lead negotiations for the union against United States Maritime Alliance.

Other issues in the current negotiations that have direct effect on ILA members from Maine to Texas are the eight-hour guarantee and the seven man lashing gang.

"USMX has made it clear in negotiations and to the public through their website postings (USMX.com) that they are looking to cut, as an example, an ILA member in Savannah's Container Royalty payment and eliminate an eight hour guarantee for an ILA member in Houston," said ILA President Harold Daggett. "They attack work rules in New York and look to strip the seven-man lashing gang in the South Atlantic. We understand that USMX has continually played one port against the other but that strategy will not succeed."

"Our ILA is committed to protecting all ILA members affected by this contract." President Daggett continued. "We stand united and will put a full contract package together that meets all our goals at all ports."

For more than a year, the ILA and USMX have been engaged in Master Contract negotiations that will likely continue during the week of December 10, 2012. President Daggett and ILA negotiators remained firm on Automation, Container Chassis work and jurisdiction and new landmark agreements have been tentatively reached.

ILA Negotiators would not budge on their opposition to eliminating the 8-hour guarantee and overtime provisions during negotiations in September with United States Maritime Alliance.

When negotiations did not produce an agreement near the September 30, 2012 deadline, the ILA and USMX agreed, with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, to a 90-day extension to continue negotiations.

The end date of that extension is now fast approaching but the ILA's resolve remains strong.

ILA President Daggett indicated that he may call full ILA Wage Scale Meetings with United States Maritime Alliance on December 10 and 11, 2012, possibly at a hotel near Newark Airport in Newark, New Jersey. The 200 ILA Wage Scale delegates representing ILA members from Maine to Texas would have to travel to these meetings on Sunday, December 9, if they are called.

Meanwhile, the ILA leader will continue fighting hard to improve on all aspects of the Master Contract just as he has achieved with agreements on Automation, Container Chassis work and Jurisdiction. Already his success on the tentative Automation agreement is being used as a framework by dockworker unions around the world, including Australia.

"I pledged to my rank-and-file members that I would not agree to anything in the Master Contact that would take away any of our hard won gains of the past," said President Daggett. "We have important and significant work in front of us to get a contract in place by the end of December, but I know we will achieve success because of the unity and solidarity of the ILA."

Harold Daggett said he was disappointed that USMX continues to post on its website its unwavering position on Container Royalty, but the ILA leader said his union's stance on fighting any cap on Container Royalty is even stronger.