The International Longshoreman’s Association and the US Maritime Alliance are currently in talks to show the commitment to reaching a labour contract agreement for the East and Gulf Coast ports, which could extend up to 2025, according to the Journal of Commerce.
The Pacific Maritime Association recently voted to ratify a five-year labour contract with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) in a bid to settle the labour dispute which had caused the shutdown of more than 20 major ports along the US West Coast.
“We’ll see how things proceed. Both sides are committed to serious discussions and trying to achieve something productive. Both sides want to do the right thing. Both sides understand the circumstances and don’t want a repeat of what happened out west.”
Marlon Jones, Manager, International Distribution, at International Paper, said: “I think it would send a strong message. It’ll give a lot of confidence to our company in seeing that the East Coast is where we want to be.”
If the contract can be extended to 2025, it would be the longest that the ILA has ever negotiated and may have an influence over the ILWU negotiations with Long Beach-Los Angeles employers next year.
The USWC has since improved its cargo volumes, with Long Beach posting its second consecutive month of cargo increases in August, 2015.