NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (March 25, 2020). ILA President Harold J. Daggett knows that tens of thousands of ILA members are showing up for work each day at waterfront facilities from Maine To Texas, plus the Great Lakes region, Canada and Puerto Rico, helping to keep our ports open to supply our nations, while all sharing concerns about the threat of the Coronavirus.
The dedication of ILA members serves to inspire President Daggett even more as he works round-the-clock with his ILA Executive Officers holding daily telephonic calls and briefings with United States Maritime Alliance and local employer groups; State Governor’s Offices and Port Authorities to make certain everyone is properly balancing the desire to keep our ports open and productive with the challenge of keeping ILA members’ workplaces safe and clean and providing guidelines and procedures for ILA members who have contracted the Coronavirus and his or her fellow workers.
President Daggett is utilizing all his top talent, including Steve Knott, Secretary-Treasurer, Dennis A. Daggett, Executive Vice President; Wilbert Rowell, General Vice President; John D. Baker, General Organizer; James Paylor and Alan Robb, Assistant General Organizers and Benny Holland, Jr., ILA Executive Vice President Emeritus; and Michael J. Vigneron, Atlantic Coast District President. This ILA Executive team is staying on top of potential threats caused by the Coronavirus and bolstering ILA safety precautions by working closely with the Center for Disease Control and its own ILA-USMX Joint Safety Committee (JSC). Getting ILA members outfitted with proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a challenge for them as it is for the entire medical profession and other first responders, but Dennis Daggett, along with and ILA Local 1 President David Cicalese. are exhausting all avenues looking for PPE vendors and pressing Port Authorities to find supplies.
Robert Fiore, ILA Safety Director and Kenneth Oelkers, ILA National Education Director are advising President Daggett daily and are working closely with outside government agencies who might help ILA members. Ingo Esders, ILA Legislative Director and Lisa Bess, ILA Political Affairs Director are closely monitoring Congressional activities and working closely with other AFL-CIO affiliates and trade associations.
Today, the ILA, USMX and New York Shipping Association discussed all challenges the industry faces at a morning telephonic meeting. They plan to speak tomorrow afternoon with an update on each ILA port.
The ILA-USMX Joint Safety Committee is contacting all ports today at the direction of ILA President Daggett and USMX Chair David Adam, requesting a written report from each port area. The JSC is requesting weekly (or, if changes occur, even more frequently) data from each Company/Port on actions it is taking or plan to take with regard to their own Coronavirus strategy. The JSC is requiring reports on how Companies/Ports are disinfecting the terminals, offices, equipment and overall port area.
President Harold Daggett and the ILA pledge to its membership that they will continue to fight on their behalf, protecting their jobs while also ensuring that their workplace is safe, especially against the threat of exposure to Coronavirus.
“I want to commend our management partners at USMX and all our local employer groups for their cooperation and concern for my ILA members,” said President Daggett. “We all share the goal to keep our ports open, which helps other first-responders, and the general public get the supplies they need, but we will use every means at our disposal to make certain our ILA members are protected and safe. The last thing we want to happen is for an ILA member to be exposed to the Coronavirus and carry the infection home with him.”