US Port Strike Crisis Averted… For Now

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September 20, 2012

Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director, George H. Cohen, today issued a promising statement concerning the ongoing labor negations between the United States Maritime Alliance and International Longshoremen’s Association that, in the least, delays an East and Gulf Coast ports longshoremen strike through peak holiday shipping season.

The following is FMCS Director George H. Cohen’s statement:

I am pleased to announce that at the close of today’s productive negotiation session, in which progress was made on several important subjects, the parties have agreed to extend the collective bargaining agreement due to expire on September 30, 2012 for a ninety (90) day period, i.e. through December 29, 2012. In taking this significant step, the parties emphasized that they are doing so “for the good of the country” to avoid any interruption in interstate commerce.

This extension will provide the parties an opportunity to focus on the outstanding core issues in a deliberate manner apart from the pressure of an immediate deadline. The negotiations on the Master Agreement will be conducted during the same time frame as negotiations for local agreements. The negotiations will continue under the auspices of the FMCS. Due to the sensitive nature of these high profile negotiations, we will have no further comment on the schedule for the negotiations, their location, or the substance of what takes place during those negotiations. 

The Washington-based FMCS is an independent U.S. government agency whose goal is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation by providing mediation and conflict resolution services to industry, government agencies and communities.

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