East Coast Labor Action Information

 

Dear Port of Virginia Stakeholders | General Questions | Operational Questions | ILA | USMX

UPDATE: February 2, 2013

From the Virginia Maritime Association website:

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen issued the following statement today on the labor negotiations between the United States Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen’s Association:

"I am extremely pleased to announce that the parties have reached a tentative agreement for a comprehensive successor Master Agreement. The tentative agreement is subject to the ratification procedures of both parties and, as well, to agreements being achieved in a number of local union negotiations.  Those local negotiations are ongoing and will continue without interruption to any port operation.  Out of respect for the parties’ ratification processes, and consistent with the Agency’s long-standingconfidentiality policy, we will not disclose any details concerning the substantive provisions that have been reached.”

"However, as the negotiations have been conducted under the auspices of the FMCS, commencing last September and continuing to date, I can report that the tentative agreement reflects the culmination of good faith negotiations in which the parties successfully accommodated strongly held competing positions because of their commitment to problem solving. Again, collective bargaining has proven its worth by avoiding a potential work stoppage that would have had a severe negative impact on the nation’s economy.”

"On behalf of the FMCS, I want to especially convey my thanks to ILA President Harold Daggett and USMX Chairman and CEO James Capo for their leadership, patience, and persistence and to their respective hard-working negotiating committees.  Finally, my colleagues Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh, Director of Mediation Services Jack Sweeney, and Commissioner Pete Donatello provided invaluable assistance both to me and the parties throughout this lengthy process.” 

UPDATE: February 1, 2013

 Potential Strike Plan (pdf)

UPDATE: January 29, 2013

To All Port of Virginia Customers and Users:

As you may be well aware, the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) are continuing to negotiate with regard to the Master Agreement. Though they have yet to reach an agreement, the two sides are meeting in New York Jan. 28, 29 and 30, in hope that a work stoppage can be avoided and a new agreement can be reached. The leadership at The Port of Virginia is closely monitoring the situation and once the outcome of these meetings is learned, the port will announce the appropriate course of action.

As always, thank you for supporting The Port of Virginia -- the fastest growing port on the US East Coast in 2012.

Update: December 28, 2012

Due to the contract extension agreed to by the USMX and ILA, VIT will be returning to  normal gate hours with the below exceptions.  Empty yards will be closed Saturday.

APMT: Gates will close at 1800 today.  Saturday open from 0800-1200.

NIT: Gates will close at 1800.  Saturday open from 0800-1200

In addition, APMT and NIT will be open normal operating hours on Monday, December 31st.

In view of the year-end holiday season, USMX and the ILA have agreed that the extension of the Master Contract shall end on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is in agreement with the new date.

Update: Decebmer 28, 2012

Statement by FMCS Director George H. Cohen On United States Maritime Alliance And International Longshoremen’s Association Labor Negotiations

Update: December 24, 2012

Statement by FMCS Director George H. Cohen on East Coast Ports Labor Negotiations

Update: December 21, 2012

Dear Port of Virginia Customers,

In response to a breakdown of master contract negotiations between USMX and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the Port of Virginia staff, which includes both the VPA and VIT personnel, has met with various segments of the local maritime community to develop pre, current and post-strike work plans.

In the event that a work stoppage does occur, the Port of Virginia will provide the following services to its customers:

  1. VIT will, with regard to breakbulk and bulk cargoes, work vessels and receive and deliver, into and out of the marine facilities, these cargoes.
  2. VIT will, with regard to car carriers, work vessels and receive and deliver, into and out of the marine facilities, these vehicles.
  3. VIT will ensure that refrigerated containers that remain on the marine facilities after a work stoppage are monitored accordingly.
  4. VIT will handle military vessels and cargoes (not household goods).
  5. VIT will accommodate vessels in distress.

During this potential work stoppage, all operations as they relate to international containers will cease until resolution, other than the exceptions noted above.

Gates – Prior to the strike, VIT will review with both shipping lines and shippers requirements for freight that is expected to exit or enter our facilities prior to the negotiating deadline.  The need for extended and additional weekend gates will be evaluated on a daily basis.

Intermodal Rail - VIT will receive and deliver via its intermodal gateways at NIT, APMT, and VIP, up until Friday, December 28th, at 11:59 p.m.  At that time, VIT will begin to shut down rail operations and make way for either empty or loaded cars to enter or exit the facilities.  Please be aware that Norfolk Southern and/or CSX may impose embargoes prior to December 28th.

Vessels – Prior to the strike, VIT will accommodate, within normal and per usual berthing windows, all regularly schedule vessels.  After the strike, VIT will use a series of parameters to bring vessels back into the facilities, which will include berthing schedules and windows and vessel requirements.

Military Freight – VIT will work vessels with U.S. Military freight on board.  VIT reserves the right to recover any costs associated for other than normal operations during this work stoppage.  Any ship line with U.S. Military freight must contact our Customer Service department prior to the vessel arriving.

Demurrage and Ancillary Charges - Shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  If ship lines charge demurrage, VIT will then charge accordingly.

Chassis – VIT has been in touch with both VIM (HRCP 2) and DCLI, who are expediting repairs to damaged units and making as many units available during this time.

Customer Service – Effective December 30, 2012, a customer service hotline and email shall be dedicated to handle all inquiries with regard to any freight that remains on the facilities or those that may be worked. 

Inquiries should be made in the following manner:

Email - Customer Service: custserv@vit.org
Telephone – 1- 800-541-2431

Port of Virginia/VIT Gate Hours/Operations

Saturday, 12/22/12
Gate @ APMT only - 0800-1200 hours
Rail & Vessel Operations as per normal schedule

Sunday, 12/23/12
Rail & Vessel Operations as per normal schedule

Mon., 12/24/12
Restricted Holiday- No Operations

Tues., 12/25/12
Restricted Holiday- No Operations

Wed., 12/26/12
Gates @ APMT & NIT – 0600-2100 hours
Rail & Vessel Operations as per normal schedule

Thurs., 12/27/12
Gates @ APMT & NIT – 0600-2100 hours
Rail & Vessel Operations as per normal schedule

Fri., 12/28/12
Gate @ APMT & NIT – 0600-2100 hours
Rail Operations Cease at 11:59 p.m.
Vessel Operations as per normal schedule

Sat., 12/29/12
Gate @ APMT & NIT- 0800-1700 hours
No Rail Operations
Vessel Operations Cease at 11:59 p.m.

Download the full document here

Update: December 20, 2012

Strike Prep doc provided by the ILA (external link - pdf)

Update: December 19, 2012 

Norfolk – Officials at The Port of Virginia have started preparing for a strike that could begin Sunday, Dec. 30, at 12:01 a.m. Port officials and stakeholders held their first planning meeting Dec. 17 to discuss what will happen before, during and after the strike; other meetings will be scheduled as needed.

Presently, the port is working to clear cargo to ensure that as few containers as possible are stranded inside the gates at the state-owned terminals, if and when they are closed by labor action. Port officials are considering a modified operations schedule to accommodate the effort to clear the terminals; no schedule changes have yet been announced. The terminals will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Dec. 24-25 (Monday-Tuesday), as per normal labor schedules.

Should no agreement be reached prior to the above-mentioned deadline, the VPA’s marine terminals will be closed until the parties reach resolution at the national level. A strike would also halt barge service to Richmond, Baltimore and all rail service including the trains serving the Virginia Inland Port.

Port Authority police will be patrolling per the normal security protocol for the VPA’s terminals.

On Dec. 18 (Tuesday), federally-mediated negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) broke off. The current contract, already extended once past its original Sept. 30 expiration, is set to expire Dec. 29. ILA leaders voted last week to authorize a strike if there was no agreement by Dec. 29. Ports from Maine to Brownsville, Texas, would be affected by any labor action.

Update: December 13, 2012

Officials at The Port of Virginia are continuing to monitor the labor negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) to settle on a new master contract. The current collective bargaining agreement has been extended until Dec. 29. Cargo operations at the state-owned marine terminals are continuing per normal and will remain as such as negotiations between the two sides continue. The Dec. 10-12 negotiations in Delray Beach, FL, concluded with an agreement to continue meeting until Dec. 18, in Newark, NJ, with a small negotiating committee. The leadership at The Port of Virginia will continue to monitor the negotiations and provide stakeholders with appropriate updates.

Update: November 28, 2012

Officials and stakeholders at The Port of Virginia are continuing to monitor the ongoing labor negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the US Maritime Alliance (USMX).

The two sides could not come to terms by the September deadline set forth in the ILA/USMX Master Contract, but with the help of a federal mediator they agreed to extend the negotiating period until Dec. 29. Both sides are seeking a mutually-beneficial agreement that heads-off any labor action that would affect ports from Texas to Maine.

At The Port of Virginia, cargo operations are continuing per normal and will remain as such as negotiations between the two sides continue. As part of the pre-strike planning process, Virginia Port Authority and its terminal operating company, Virginia International Terminals Inc., will be updating their webpage dedicated to the issue with local, up-to-date issue-related information.

Update: October 26, 2012 - 12:30

The labor contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen's Union and the group representing shipping industry management at East and Gulf Coast ports - the United Maritime Alliance - "continue to meet in an effort to resolve additional outstanding issues," according to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
 
"I am pleased to report that the parties met today under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and discussed a number of major issues, said FMCS Director George H. Cohen in a statement.
 
"As a result of today's discussions, the parties will have their respective committees review their positions and analyze associated costs," Cohen said.
 
A collective sigh of relief was heard from the shipping industry in mid-September over the news the ILA and USMX had agreed to extend the deadline of their collective bargaining agreement from September 30 to December 29 in an effort to do so "for the good of the country" in order to avoid any work disruption, after the FMCA announced it would be presiding over the jump-started negotiations.
 
News of the labor-management contract extension to year's end came during the critical peak shipping season and reportedly allayed industry fears over what had been the potential for disrupted, and costly re-routed, supply chains.

Update: September 20, 2012 - 13:00

As the result of ongoing negotiations aided by federal mediators, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has agreed to postpone a threatened labor action along the US East and Gulf coasts for 90 days. During this 90-day period, the ILA and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) will continue both local and master contract negotiations. Had an agreement – temporary or permanent – not been reached, the labor action would
have gone into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 1, and effectively halted cargo operations at ports from Maine to Texas.

At The Port of Virginia, cargo operations are continuing per normal and will remain as such as negotiations between the two sides continue. As part of the pre-strike planning process, Virginia Port Authority (VPA) and Virginia International Terminals Inc., have developed a page on the VPA website www.portofvirginia.com dedicated to providing local, up-to-date strike information. The page will be maintained through the extended negotiation period and updated as necessary.

Update: September 20, 2012 - 12:00

In response to the pending ILA labor action and in accordance to previous commitments to the Hampton Roads’ maritime community, Virginia International Terminals will open gates at all of the Virginia Port Authority marine terminals and empty container yards on Saturday,  Sept. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The facilities that will be open are Norfolk International Terminals (NIT), APM Terminals in Portsmouth (APMT), Newport News Marine Terminal (NNMT) and the empty container yard at NIT and in Portsmouth. The gates will be open to all containerized cargo.

 

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