Thousands of ILA Members Benefit From Amendment To ILA-USMX Master Contract To Protect Their Health Care Coverage

NORTH BERGEN, NJ. (October 2, 2020) Thousands of ILA members benefit from the amendment to the ILA-USMX Master Contract announced yesterday that will protect MILA coverage for eligible longshore workers for the current contract years that began yesterday.

Harold J. Daggett, International President of the ILA told members in a letter sent out yesterday that in the current ILA-USMX contract year from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, ILA employees covered under MILA will not experience a loss or reduction of the MILA coverage they had in 2020 because of any reduction in their 2020 work hours caused by COVID-19.  They will have the same Benefit Plan (either Core Plan, Basic Plan or Premier Plan) in calendar year 2021 that they had in calendar year 2020, unless the number of hours which they worked or were credited with in the contract year ending September 30, 2020 entitles them to a better Benefit Plan.  This amendment does not apply to MILA participants who are eligible due to a participation plan.

“Your ILA officers are grateful for our USMX partners, who recognized that their ILA  workforce became America’s heroic front-line workers during this COVID-19 Pandemic, bravely and consistently keeping cargo moving in and out of our nation’s ports,” said ILA President Harold J. Daggett in a letter to eligible ILA members. “Health care coverage four our ILA workers covered under the MILA National Health Care Plan is an essential part of our ILA-USMX Master Contract.  We are now assured that crucial benefits will continue in Contract Year 2021.”

Dennis A. Daggett, International Executive Vice President announced late yesterday that more than 2,000 ILA workers will receive health care benefits this year who otherwise would have lost coverage because of a shortfall of eligible working hours.  An additional 3,500 ILA workers are receiving enhanced benefits based on their increased work hour totals from last year.

“The industry and USMX did right by the hard-working ILA members,” said Executive Vice President Dennis Daggett.

“This will go down in history as one of the greatest achievements by our ILA leadership, led by President Harold Daggett; Executive Vice President Dennis Daggett and Secretary-Treasurer Stephen Knott,” said Willie J. Seymore, Executive Vice President, South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District and an International Vice President.  “On the same day when two major U.S. airlines announced that nearly 50,000 workers would lose their jobs, President Daggett and his team brought home a miracle for tens of thousands of ILA members – that their health care coverage would be protected.”

“Harold Daggett led our union to two landmark six-year agreements which are not only the greatest contracts ever negotiated by the ILA, but the greatest Collective Bargaining Agreements in labor history,” said Michael J. Vigneron, President, Atlantic Coast District, ILA.  “But securing MILA benefits for the contract year 2020-2021 for our eligible members that are equal to or better than what they received this past year is a monumental achievement.”

“I applaud the ILA and USMX for protecting those eligible MILA participants during the current contract years with benefits that are equal to, or even better than the previous year,” said Alan Robb, President, South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District.  “As our nation, and even the world are suffering significant losses due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the leaders of our ILA and USMX came together and worked it out so that our eligible ILA workers would not lose health coverage for themselves and their dependents.  I am proud to be on this leadership team with President Harold Daggett, Executive Vice President Dennis Daggett, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Knott; General Vice President Wilbert Rowell as well as John Baker, Jim Paylor and Benny Holland, Jr.”

“I am grateful to my fellow ILA officers for the time and effort they put into negotiating these important Amendments with USMX, and remain proud of our ILA members for their dedication and courage,” said ILA President Harold Daggett.