Keep Labor Strikes in Mind When Planning East Coast Moves This Fall

July 17, 2012
By Michelle Kelley

Client Alert

As you plan your fall shipping schedule, we encourage you to keep current with news on labor negotiations between East Coast port union workers and their employers.

The contract between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance expires on September 30.

As both sides attempt to forge a new contract this summer, shippers would be wise to plan for the worst, should the talks fall through. A strike would affect 14 ports along the East Coast.

In a letter to both parties, the Retail Industry Leader’s Association cited a work stoppage as the most harmful result of failed talks.

The last round of talks ended in late June. Both groups are back at the bargaining table this week, following a short recess.

Next Step

Since the last round of talks in June, both sides have exchanged proposals on wages, benefits, work rules, etc. Finding an acceptable middle ground will be the primary challenge going forward.

Contingency Plans

Mohawk regularly provides alternate routing options in the rate sheets we issue. Any changes to your regular routing through New York should be decided by mid-August, and weekly thereafter, to avoid ports that may be affected by strike.