ILA President Harold J. Daggett Sends Message to President Joe Biden Slamming Federal Maritime Commission Louis E. Sola For “unwarranted attack on the working women and men represented by the ILA in the port of Charleston”
NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (July 7, 2022) Harold J. Daggett, President, International Longshoremen’s Association, today wrote to President Joseph Biden sharply criticizing the Administration’s Federal Maritime Commissioner Louis E. Sola for his “disparaging comments about the ILA” he wrote in a June 23, 2022, letter to the U.S. President.
The ILA leader told President Biden that his FMC Commissioner engaged in anti-labor and anti-union tactics in accursing the ILA of somehow blocking the utilization of the Leatherman Terminal at the Port of Charleston, contributing to port congestion and pollution caused by idling ships. The pending dispute involving the Leatherman Terminal is currently before the National Labor Relations Board. ILA President Daggett called on President to reject Commissioner Sola’s request for Presidential intervention in the pending dispute.
“ILA-represented workers continue to work hard every day in order to move cargo expeditiously through the port of Charleston,” said ILA President Daggett. “There have been no slowdowns or job actions at Leatherman Terminal or anywhere else in the port of Charleston.”
President Daggett noted to Biden that the ILA in the Port of Charleston was responsible for reducing a backlog of 30 container vessels waiting off the coast of Charleston in February 2022 to nearly zero ships today.
The ILA said the FMC Commissioner was overreaching in his request for Presidential intervention and was clueless in calling the dispute one involving a “right to work issue.
“His misunderstanding that the matter involves a right-to-work issue makes clear that federal labor law is not within the FMC’s jurisdiction or competence,” President Daggett noted.
In November 2021, ILA President Daggett met with U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh at the Port of Charleston and accompanied him on a tour of all terminals at the port. Labor Secretary Walsh met with hundreds of ILA longshore workers and praised them for keeping commerce moving throughout the Covid pandemic.
ILA President Daggett concluded his message to President Biden in today’s letter asking him to “reject Commissioner Sola’s request to intervene and allow the (NLRB) Board to render a decision in due course.”