New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called ILA President Harold J. Daggett “one of his partners in growing the New Jersey economy,” in a video tribute that was shown to a thousand labor leaders, shipping and maritime executives, port authority and political leaders in attendance at the 102nd New York-New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association on Thursday evening at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan, New York.
To thunderous applause, ILA President Daggett proclaimed at the podium on a dais filled with a virtual Who’s Who of this nation’s maritime industry, “To recognize me and to honor my union – the ILA-with this most distinguished award is a tribute I never could have imagined. I want to thank the organizers for including the ILA in this company. We’re proud to be part of this maritime community.
Bill Skinner, the president of the Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers introduced the ILA leader and praised him, along with Dave Adam, Chairman and CEO of USMX, for delivering a new six-year Master Contract Agreement that, President Skinner noted, will help the industry grow and move forward all the way to September 30, 2024.
President Daggett also devoted a portion of his remarks praising the benefits of the new six-year agreement.
“Now is a good time to thank Dave Adam, and all his members, for the job they did with us in negotiating our new six-year Master Contract,” ILA President Daggett said. “It was a major achievement and, in my opinion based on my more than five decades in this industry, is the greatest contract in our ILA’s long, 127-year history.”
He added: “I think it was the greatest for USMX as well. It was a win-win contract that both sides received the major items they were looking for over the next six years.”
The 2019 New York-New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association Dinner set records for attendance and generated great enthusiasm to hear the ILA President speak to a general audience since he successfully negotiated the new six-year deal.
NJ Gov. Murphy’s video message cited why ILA President Daggett was the perfect choice to be honored by the Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers: “He (Harold Daggett) knows that good international trade relations mean good jobs for his members,” said Gov. Murphy.
ILA President Daggett said real value will result in the future from the Foreign Freight Forwarders recognizing the ILA.
“This honor for me tonight already will result in benefits for the Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers; the ILA and USMX,” President Daggett said. “I have asked your president Bill Skinner and Bob Connor to plan meetings a couple of times a year with USMX; NYSA; the ILA; the truckers and Port Authorities, to discuss ways we can help each other grow all our industries. A rising tide lifts all boats.”
The ILA President revealed to the audience that this new landmark six-year Master Contract resulted from tough negotiations:
“We all know how much I was against fully automated terminals – I made it clear to Dave and his negotiating team from the start that I needed that guarantee that we would invest in my members for this contract extension.
“It took some convincing and long and tough negotiating sessions, but the ILA assured Dave and his team that we would produce for them, far better than any robot or equipment could.
“Our members have hearts and souls and families to support and communities to live in and build.
“USMX understood this and agreed with us.
“Since the signing of the new six-year contract, I have repeatedly told my members that we have to make good on our pledge to increase container moves to over 30 an hour – and maybe even more in some ports.
“In a few weeks, I will be gathering my Executive Council for meetings in Tampa, Florida, and I will hammer this point to them again. We must deliver on this contract.
“And we will!”
ILA President asked all his members and families to stand up and be saluted at the dinner to demonstrate the large contingent present.
He also saluted a fellow labor colleague and leader of another international union.
“There is another special guest I would like to recognize. He’s my dear friend and colleague on the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council,” said President Daggett. “Terry O’Sullivan is General President of LIUNA – and represents over 500,000 laborers throughout the United States and Canada. He’s not only a great president for LIUNA and he is also a great labor leader throughout the world – when he speaks, he speaks from the heart. I consider him my mentor.”