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Promising Developments in East/Gulf Coast Port Labor Talks

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) recently announced that they had concluded “productive exploratory talks” regarding an extension of their current master contract covering ports on the East and Gulf Coasts, and plan to begin full wage scale meetings in September. The joint statement from ILA and USMX is available online.

The current master contract does not expire until September 2018. But in the aftermath of the recent West Coast labor negotiations, the two sides announced in March that they would explore the idea of an early contract extension. News reports suggest that the goal is to secure an agreement that would run through September 2025. While USMX and ILA have negotiated early contract extensions in the past, an additional seven years would be the longest ever.