ILA Getting Closer to Deadline

Over the past few months and with the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) contract end looming as the end of September approached, the ILA-USMX had been threatening to strike. Management is trying to cut costs to accommodate the current economic environment, while the ILA-USMX is seeing these cuts as a way to further break the union. They think if they give in to these small cuts, there will be larger cuts in store. Meantime, a strike would not be good for either side nor for the shipping industry. It would not only affect thousands of jobs across the United States, but it would affect all types of shipments that will be moving around the world.

Despite boasting from management, with the peak season in full swing and not as promising as hoped, this type of interruption could be catastrophic for both sides of the agreement. Shippers will be forced to change their shipping routes and not necessarily be able to keep deadlines, and they would be combating the congestion for the ports that are not striking. This can involve both ship windows and overall freight shipping rates. Thankfully, the two sides have come together to extend the contract for 90 days. While this would seem like they are merely putting off the negotiations, in actuality it shows that both sides do want to come to an agreement that will be mutually beneficial. Hopefully by the end of the 90 day extension there will be an agreement that both management and the ILA-MX can readily accept.