Dock strike averted

Dock strike averted

By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling

A crisis has been averted as dock workers and management at ports along the eastern seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico have reached a tentative agreement, staving off a potentially devastating strike that would have hurt industries that rely on exports, including recycling.

Since last spring, the U.S. Maritime Alliance, which represents the East and Gulf Coast longshore industry, and the International Longshoremen's Association, which represents dock workers, have been at an impasse over a new contract. The existing contract was extended several times, and in December dock workers prepared to strike. A strike would have caused activity to cease at ports from Houston to Boston. However, the strike was averted after both sides announced that they had made progress in negotiations.

Now, it appears that a settlement is within reach, as the federal mediator involved in the matter has announced that both sides have reached a tentative agreement that is still subject to ratification.

George Chen, president of G&T Trading International Corp, applauded the agreement in an email to Resource Recycling. His company, which exports paper, sends 80 containers per week through the Port of New Jersey. In anticipation of the strike, he said he asked his suppliers to pull containers from the pier and move any loaded cargo to the pier to avoid a big loss.

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