Eight Month Long International Solidarity Campaign Against Ørsted Leads to Major Victory for ILA In Port of New London, Connecticut; ILA’s Core Work Jurisdiction Protected In Offshore Wind Operations
NORTH BERGEN, NJ – (February 7, 2024) For months, ILA members were manning picket lines in New York, Boston and the Port of New London, Connecticut in support of their fellow members of ILA Local 1411 who were fighting to maintain their work jurisdiction at the offshore wind operations at that Connecticut State Pier. Fortified with international support from the International Transport Workers Federation; the International Dockworkers’ Council; 3F Transport, The Maritime Union of Australia; Co-Sea/Dansk Metal, and Ver.di, and with a campaign led by ILA’s Assistant General Organizer Jim Paylor and International Vice President Pete Clark, the ILA scored a major victory this week against Ørsted, the offshore wind developer, when an agreement was reached to assign the disputed work to the ILA and Local 1411.
“I am proud and overjoyed to announce that the ILA is victorious in our fight against Ørsted to keep the work that belongs to ILA longshore workers,” said International ILA President Harold Daggett. “This is a victory for the ILA and Local 1411, but it’s also a major win for International Solidarity. From the ILA locals who joined the picket lines outside Ørsted’s offices in major American cities for eight grueling months, to the world-wide demonstrations of support from International Labor Organizations, this is a triumph for maritime labor and the power of so many heroic union members who joined in this campaign.”
The ILA leader praised his top officers who spearheaded this mission to preserve ILA’s jurisdiction at the Port of New London, Connecticut.
“More than three years ago, I put Jim Paylor, Pete Clark and Ed Zimny in charge of our ILA’s Wind Turbine campaign,” said ILA President Daggett. They dedicated so much time and effort to this project in general and to win this important labor battle with Ørsted.
“My ILA Vice President in Boston, Bernie O’Donnell; and Boston Atlantic Coast District Vice President George McEvoy did a great organizing rallies involving ILA Locals from up and down the coast,” continued the ILA leader. “In their roles with the IDC, Dennis Daggett and Jordi Aragunde were invaluable with their support. For the ITF, we are indebted to Paddy Crumlin as well as Billy Hartigan and Courtney Pecquex.”
ILA President Daggett also noted the vital and impressive international labor support from 3F Transport, Co-Sea/Dansk Metal, and Ver.di.
“This ILA campaign would not have achieved success without the powerful displays of solidarity from Jan Villadsen, President and Karsten Kristensen, Vice President at 3F Transport; Ole Phillipsen, President of Co-Sea/Dansk Metal; and Maya Schwigershausen-Gūth, Maritime Coordinator at Ver.di.
The ILA success asserting its work jurisdiction at the offshore wind operations at the New London State Pier (NLSP) in New London, Connecticut, thus ends an over eight-month battle to gain recognition of the ILA’s historic core work jurisdiction.
Although ILA Local 1411 members have worked at the NLSP for close to 100 years, Ørsted, the offshore wind developer, had opposed the ILA’s claim, and assigned the ILA’s work to the International Union of Operating Engineers. After numerous failed attempts to resolve the issue with Ørsted amicably, the ILA had no choice but to protest at various Ørsted offices.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recognized the importance of resolving the work jurisdiction issue, and recently insisted that the Connecticut Port Authority facilitate a face-to-face meeting of all parties, including the Operating Engineers. The Operating Engineers initially walked out of the meeting but after further discussion, they, along with ILA Local 1411, Gateway, and the Connecticut Port Authority, signed an agreement mandated by Governor Lamont that memorializes the assignment of the disputed work at the NLSP only to ILA Local 1411.
“The ILA is grateful for Governor Ned Lamont for his leadership role in helping to negotiate a resolution,” said ILA President Daggett.
“This win for the ILA should greatly benefit our union as we now turn our attention to full Wage Scale Negotiations with United States Maritime Alliance. I am certain those shipping companies we are presently negotiating with have observed the power of ILA and international solidarity.
“Our members never give up, and I am confident they will bring the same strength and determination to our full Wage Scale negotiations, that brought us victory against Ørsted,” President Daggett concluded. “I would like to thank every ILA member who took time to walk a picket line in support of their Sisters and Brothers at ILA Local 1411.”