Waterfront Commission, With its Nearly 70-Year Legacy of Having No Black Executive Director, Tries To Play Race Card to Attack the ILA and Employers in New York and New Jersey
NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (March 21, 2022) The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor is once again trying to muddy the waters against the ILA and its employers as it fights off New Jersey’s attempt to withdraw from the agency over the next few days.
Armed with faulty statistics that even an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Division of Human Right ruled years ago that the Commission’s longshore register was an unreliable source of demographic data, the Waterfront Commission is trying to convince the public and media that the ILA lacks diversity. This charge comes from an agency that for nearly 70 years has never had a Black Executive Director.
“Our ILA workforce in New York and New Jersey has always been diverse and is becoming more diverse every year,” said ILA President Harold Daggett. “New York Shipping Association data shows that new hires over the past few years have consistently hovered around 60 percent non-white.”
In an ugly article release late last night by the New York Daily News titled “People of color boxed out of highest paying longshoremen jobs on NY-NJ waterfront, records show.”
The records the writer, Clayton Guse, uses in the piece come from the Waterfront Commission. Both the ILA and NYSA provided this reporter with facts disputing the premise of this article, but those were largely ignored by the reporter in writing the article.
“It sickens me that an article like this can appear in a major daily newspaper that disparages my union and its membership, which 70 percent Black up and down the coast,” said ILA President Daggett. “My first ILA president Teddy Gleason pulled an entire ILA convention out of a Miami, Florida hotel in the early 1960’s because they refused to admit Blacks.”
I am proud of New Jersey and its two most recent governors – Chris Christie and current Gov. Phil Murphy – and the entire New Jersey Legislature for recognizing what we in the ILA and our employers have known for decades – “The Waterfront Commission Must Go!”
“The only things that has slowed the ILA and NYSA’s efforts to advance diversity ever faster in this great Port of New York and New Jersey has been the interference by the Waterfront Commission in the hiring of new workers,” added President Daggett. “We look forward to next week when the New Jersey State Police have pledged that new applicants will have their background checks and approval done within 30 days.”