• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.795
    -0.005
    -0.3%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.738
    0.070
    4.2%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.102
    0.028
    2.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.495
    -0.012
    -0.8%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.835
    0.053
    6.8%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.975
    0.049
    5.3%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.250
    0.072
    3.3%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.503
    0.038
    2.6%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.448
    0.036
    2.5%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.299
    0.009
    0.7%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.542
    0.062
    4.2%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,149.240
    -70.640
    -0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    3.780
    -0.080
    -2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,139.180
    -75.530
    -0.7%
  • TLT.USA
    2.500
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    151.000
    5.000
    3.4%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.795
    -0.005
    -0.3%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.738
    0.070
    4.2%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.102
    0.028
    2.6%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.495
    -0.012
    -0.8%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.835
    0.053
    6.8%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    0.975
    0.049
    5.3%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.250
    0.072
    3.3%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.503
    0.038
    2.6%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.448
    0.036
    2.5%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.299
    0.009
    0.7%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.542
    0.062
    4.2%
  • ITVI.USA
    10,149.240
    -70.640
    -0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    3.780
    -0.080
    -2.1%
  • OTVI.USA
    10,139.180
    -75.530
    -0.7%
  • TLT.USA
    2.500
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    151.000
    5.000
    3.4%
American ShipperShipping

ILA vows battle on Delaware River

International Longshoremen’s Association claims non-union operations have eroded working conditions at terminals in and around Philadelphia.

   The International Longshoremen’s Association claims several terminals in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Del., and surrounding ports that employ non-ILA members are eroding pay and working conditions for dockworkers and says it may strike employers in order to achieve its goals.
    “It’s time to address the Ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington and how certain companies, the Ports of Delaware River Marine Trade Association (PMTA) and the Philadelphia Port Authority have exploited our ILA members there for decades, gutting local ILA contracts and stripping them of their dignity and livelihoods,” said Harold J. Daggett, ILA president.
    “All waterfront jobs at the Ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington belong to my ILA members, and we are ready and prepared to do whatever it takes to get those jobs back. We are going to arm our members there with solidarity and support to engage in this battle.”
   The ILA, which represents dockworkers from Maine to Texas, is negotiating with employers for a possible six- year extension of a contract that expires Sept. 30. In March, the ILA and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), which negotiates the coast-wide contract for employers, reported “significant progress.” Those talks on the main contract are slated to resume on June 5 in Delray Beach, Fla.
    In the interim, the union and employers have been negotiating local issues.
    The ILA says it will press its demands with terminal operators along the Delaware River represented by the PMTA, calling the employer group an “enemy of ILA workers.”
    PMTA representatives were not immediately available for comment.
    In order to achieve its objectives, the ILA said, “one strategy may be to allow the ILA in the Port of Philadelphia and Wilmington to ‘carve itself out’ of the ILA-USMX Master Contract, freeing the membership there to exercise their right to strike and freedom of assembly against non-ILA and non-union companies.”
    The ILA attributes the problem to two large stevedoring groups operating along the Delaware River that it says have “double-breasted” operations employing ILA members at some locations and workers represented by organizations such as the Independent Dock Workers Union and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers.
    The ILA says the first stevedoring group is controlled by the Holt family and the second by the Brown family.
    The Holts operate the Greenwich Terminals at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the main container terminal in Philadelphia, and that facility uses ILA members.
   But Jim Paylor, the ILA’s assistant general organizer and international vice president for the Port of Philadelphia, says the Holts also operate Gloucester Terminals, across the Delaware River, in Gloucester City, N.J., where the union says its members were displaced in the early 1990s.
    “Unfortunately that experience of them being successful replacing the ILA has caused other facilities, or other employers, to seek alternatives to the ILA also,” he said.
    He said the Holts also operate the Paulsboro Marine Terminal through a lease with the State of New Jersey and employ non-ILA workers at that facility and Pier 5 in Camden.
    The ILA says companies controlled by the Brown family employs ILA members at the Port of Wilmington through a company called Murphy Marine Services and at Pier 80 in Philadelphia through a company called J&H Stevedoring. But Paylor says an affiliated company, Horizon Stevedoring, employs non-ILA union members at Pier 82 in Philadelphia.
    The ILA says these companies “keep wages and benefits stagnant by pitting their non-ILA operations against the ILA workers and have put little effort into negotiating a local agreement that could be paired with the potential six-year master contract.”
    “People who are double-breasted are sitting at the bargaining table with us negotiating in what should be good faith but has never been since this was created and finalizing contracts but having the ability the very next day to go back to their non ILA entities,” he said. “We’re forced to negotiate contracts that are way below industry standards that create a very unhealthy race to the bottom that already exists on the Delaware River and now that has spread and affecting cargoes that are in the Port of Baltimore.”
    The ILA said its locals in the Philadelphia-Wilmington area have been prepared to negotiate since August of 2017, but that the PMTA canceled negotiations in December 2017.
    The ILA says the PMTA was mandated by USMX to hold local negotiations and offered what it called a “ridiculous proposal filled with major concessions” and a “last and final proposal on the industry-imposed deadline of May 15, 2018.”
   “By its actions, the PMTA has proven itself to be an enemy of ILA workers, committed to stripping workers of decent wages, proper pensions and other protections,” said the ILA.
    The ILA says it is certain of support from other international labor organizations such as the International Transportation Workers Federation and forwarded a letter from Jordi Aragunde Miguens, general coordinator of the International Dockers Council, which said the groups worldwide “are prepared to withhold labor” in support of the ILA workers in Philadelphia and Wilmington.

Show More

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.
Close