The head of the International Longshoremen’s Association has called off a planned work stoppage at East and Gulf coast ports and plans to meet with members of Congress to address labor issues at the Port of Charleston and elsewhere, as the Post and Courier reports.
Meeting with legislators from South Carolina, New York and New Jersey — three states where the union says problems exist — are already being scheduled, according to Kenneth Riley, the ILA’s vice president and head of the union’s Charleston branch.
Riley last week called for a one-day work stoppage to protest what he says is the loss of jobs to over-regulation and interference by government-run maritime agencies. Riley had not set a date for the work stoppage or a planned ILA march on Washington.
Among union complaints are that government-operated ports, including Charleston’s, are reducing union jobs by hiring non-ILA workers to operate cranes, receive and deliver cargo, and perform other duties. Also, that the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor is creating new layers of background checks and other regulatory hurdles that are creating job shortages there.
The maritime alliance has warned the ILA that the union’s current contract has a no-strike clause and any work stoppage would violate the agreement. Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the State Ports Authority said port operators likely would seek a court order to end any work stoppage that occurs.
RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation provide further updates once available .