With Successful ILA Convention Concluded, Coupled With Fourth Circuit Court Victory In Charleston, ILA President Harold Daggett and Union Turn Focus On Negotiations In Position of Strength
NORTH BERGEN, NJ (August 6, 2023) Days after the International Longshoremen’s Association’s 56th Convention ended with the unanimous re-election of International President Harold J. Daggett and his entire slate of ILA Executive Officers, and pledges from dockworker unions from around the world to support the ILA in its campaign to halt job killing automation at ports in the U.S. and globally, the ILA turns its attention to local and Master Contract bargaining with the current contract expiring in less than 14 months. The ILA’s negotiation position was further bolstered moving forward by a huge court victory in the U.S. Fourth Circuit, protecting the ILA’s negotiated right for all work at new terminals, including the Leatherman Terminal in the Port of Charleston, South Carolina.
In powerful convention speeches by ILA President Harold Daggett and other top ILA officers hammering home the ILA’s strong opposition to automation, the ILA challenged United States Maritime Alliance and local employer groups to recognize the ILA’s importance to their success and treat them as equal partners in negotiations.
“We will not take a back seat to anyone,” ILA President Daggett said in his Convention keynote address. “It’s time for foreign companies like Maersk and MSC to realize that you need us as much as we need you.”
The ILA leader said the union expects a generous contract package to be presented to his ILA Wage Scale delegates. “I hope to God that the companies are willing, and serious, to move on with this contract negotiations with the ILA,” President Daggett said.
He warned employers that there will be no contract extensions beyond the September 30th, 2024 expiration of the current six-year pact.
“If it goes to the wire, I will guarantee there will be no extensions and we will be out in the street,” the ILA leader said. “Don’t come back and say we cannot afford that kind of raise. One of your CEO’s took a $4 Billion bonus for himself at Christmas. You definitely can afford it – and you know it,” Daggett said.
The ILA indicated it would tighten language with all future contracts to guarantee protections of its jurisdictions at all ILA ports, including securing all work from new terminals. The position was fortified by recent Fourth Circuit District Court decision in the ILA’s favor.