Update on ILA’s Walk off at New York, New Jersey Ports

ILA tweetJanuary 29, 2016 was an interesting day.  The Port of NY-NJ tweeted about random work stoppages, which caused even more delay at the terminals after a long holiday weekend.  The longshoremen walked off the job Friday morning, but by the end of the day, the Port of New York and New Jersey stated that operations would be back to normal that following Monday.  In a statement issued that Friday night, the The New York Shipping Association said an emergency contract board meeting was held at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, which resulted in a deadlock.  Breaking News story here.

So, why the walk off?

According to Joseph Bonney with the Journal of Commerce,

“This was an odd strike. There were no picket signs, and no warnings of an impending shutdown. Workers simply walked out at 10 a.m., leaving truckers, terminal officials and everyone else — including most dockworkers — wondering what was going on.”

ILA officials also have been angered by commission’s investigations with other law-enforcement agencies into port-related crime. This appears to have been the most likely trigger for the walkout. Word on the waterfront is that lately, investigators have been taking an especially close look at certain ILA members’ timesheets.” “The ILA has bristled at commission efforts to change the waterfront culture by reducing the role of friends and family connections in hiring. In 2012 the union and its employers unsuccessfully sued the commission, claiming illegal interference in collective bargaining issues. A federal appeals court ruling is expected soon.

According to Chris Dupin with American Shipper,

“An arbitrator issued an award finding that the work stoppage was a violation of the no strike provision in the contract and ordering the officers of the ILA and its constituent locals in the port to inform their members of the same. During this time discussions took place between the ILA and NYSA with regard to outstanding issues concerning chassis, jurisdiction, hiring and technology. It was agreed to expeditiously seek solutions to these longstanding issues.”

 So, what exactly happened?

Law enforcement sources told NBC New York “that about 1,000 strikers shut down Port Newark and the Global Facility in Bayonne. The sources [said] that truckers are locked in the ports and cannot leave…..Attempts to reach the International Longshoremen’s Association, the union for port workers, have been unsuccessful. A number for the union’s national office included a recorded message indicating offices were closed until Monday.”

According to Journal of Commerce,

“There was no official confirmation of the cause of the walkout. However, multiple sources said it was due to ILA unhappiness with hiring rules of the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, which oversees port hiring.

The ILA walkout came as New York-New Jersey terminals were struggling to catch up after a four-day weekend shutdown from Winter Storm Jonas, and a three-day holiday the previous weekend for the Martin Luther King Day observance.”

Scarbrough International, Ltd. continues to monitor situations like these closely and will keeps our clients informed.  Any questions, please email info@scarbrough-intl.com.

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