I’m writing this letter to update everyone about contract negotiations and to address some concerns that have recently come to my attention.
First, let me say that Local 1475 has never been in a better position to negotiate than we are right now. We are setting records on Tonnage and man-hours this contract year, four new cranes are coming in December, and four more are on order for the following year.
Next, you should know that, despite rumors to the contrary, we have no plans to withdraw from the District. We are simply requesting to negotiate our own contract, as other Locals have done before us. An excellent example of this is the Port of Tampa, which negotiates its own Cruise Contract (outside of the District contract) yet remains in the District.
Our current situation is as follows. Together with both Locals from Charleston –1422 Longshoremen and 1771 Clerks – ILA 1475 has sent a letter (attached) to the head of the South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District’s five-man negotiating committee over “Clerical & Longshore Work,” putting them on notice that we will not accept concessions, or anything less than an eight hour guarantee, and that we also intend to negotiate separately. This was a powerful statement of solidarity, and it was important for us to make our position clear up front because of the way that voting works in the District.
Let me explain. Although Savannah and Charleston together handle the vast majority of Container traffic in the South Atlantic, each of the five ports in our District – including Jacksonville, Tampa and Wilmington – has an equal vote. This means that if all three of the smaller ports agreed to a four hour guarantee, they could out-vote Savannah and Charleston, and the whole District would be stuck with a four hour guarantee. That doesn’t mean that we could not get an 8 hour guarantee locally, but it would put us in a weaker position to negotiate a Local Contract.
As you know, we work under several contracts. First is the Master Contract that is negotiated between the USMX (Carriers) and ILA. Second, we have a District Contract that is negotiated between Stevedoring Companies and ILA for the entire District. Finally, we have a Local Contract, which is negotiated between the Stevedoring Companies (GSA) for agreements that only pertain to the Port of Savannah. The letter I mentioned above is relevant to our upcoming efforts to negotiate a Local Container Contract.
In addition to the information above, I have attached a copy of our letter to President Seaton of the Negotiating Committee, as well as a chart that shows the major differences between the five ports in our District. As you can see from the chart, despite the voting rules that are currently in place, Savannah and Charleston have a significant advantage because we work 88.4 % of all the Container tonnage in the South Atlantic. This puts ILA 1475 in an excellent position to negotiate a Local Container contract.
I hope this information is helpful to you. You may be assured that your union representatives, as always, are working diligently to support your best interests in these negotiations.
President Charles Seaton,
I am writing you to about the upcoming negotiation for the South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District (“District”) Contract. It has come to our attention that the smaller Ports in the District are considering reductions in the manning and related guarantees in the Container provisions of the District Contract.
While Local 1475 and 1771 understands that the smaller ports may conclude that such changes are necessary, not only are they not necessary in the Port of Savannah or Charleston, but they would cause substantial disruption to our operations.
Therefore, we will negotiate separately from the District (in the same way that the Port of Tampa negotiates a Cruise Ship agreement separately from the rest of the District).
Please let us know if you would like to discuss the reasons for negotiation separately, we would be more than happy to discuss the issues with you.
President Local 1475
Lance Mc Laughlin
President Local 1771
International Longshoremen’s Association
Affiliated with the AFL-CIO
From the Desk of Kenneth Riley, President
March 29, 2017
SENT VIA EMAIL
Wilber Rowell, Pres. SED&M Council, ILA, AFL-CIO
Alan Robb, Pres. SAGCD, ILA, AFL-CIO
James Gray, Chairman, SA Employer’s Neg. Comm., ILA, AFL-CIO
W.J. Bean, III, Exec. Dir., SC Stevedores Association
Dear Sirs and Brothers:
This letter is to inform you that ILA Local 1422, the longshore local in the Port of Charleston, will not participate in the negotiations for a new agreement between the South Atlantic Employers’ Negotiating Committee and the South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District of the International Longshoremen’s Association. Instead, Local 1422 will negotiate a separate agreement for the Port of Charleston and will not participate in the contract meetings scheduled for mid-April in Savannah, Georgia.
We recently received communication from the International President to elect wage/scale delegates and per that communication we will wait for instructions to begin local bargaining.
Therefore, within the next few weeks, Local 1422 will elect wage/scale delegates and will meet with its membership to formulate demands fro a new agreement.
Finally, and by way of this letter, we are informing the employers in the Port of Charleston of our intentions to negotiate in a separate agreement and they will be notified when we are ready to commence bargaining.
President, ILA Local 1422