Management Rejects ILA Offer to Extend Master Contract To February 1st, 2013
The ILA wanted to say "Happy New Year" With a Contract Extension to February 1, 2013 but United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) answered with a resounding "Bah Humbug" and rejected an ILA offer to extend the deadline of the current Master Contract through the end of January 2013.
The two sides met today in Newark, New Jersey today (December 18th) for negotiations with the Federal Mediator George Cohen present and with a December 29th deadline looming in less than two weeks. The ILA knew there was a lot of negotiating work in front of them and that many issues required time and effort to resolve. One key issue - Container Royalty - was considered untouchable by the union. So they proposed to USMX that the current contract extension be moved from December 29th to February 1, 2013 provided that management takes the Container Royalty issue off the table.
The ILA even hinted that they would become more flexible in negotiations involving other sticky issues with the month's extension but USMX said no.
"USMX seems intent on gutting a provision of our Master Contract that ILA members fought and sacrificed for years to achieve," said ILA President Harold J. Daggett. "We have repeatedly asked them to leave this item alone - it was a hard won gain by ILA members and a wage supplement achieved through hard fought negotiations."
ILA still hopes USMX prevents a strike on December 30th by agreeing to the extension.