Work Stoppage at Port of Baltimore

Please be advised that cargo operations at the Port of Baltimore were halted by a longshoremen’s strike after contract negotiations stalled, as the port officials said. It started after members of the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 333 voted Tuesday night to reject a local contract with the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore, which represents the port’s employers of longshoremen.

As a result, there is currently no labor working cargo aboard vessels in Baltimore, including WWL’s Mid-Atlantic Terminal. This includes cargo receipt at and delivery from the Port of Baltimore which has been halted until further notice. According to the official information, five cargo ships are currently docked and “on standby” at the port.

The Port of Baltimore is one of the largest and busiest ports in the United States.  Port-related businesses directly employ 15,000 Marylanders and the jobs of tens of thousands more are supported by the port, according to the Maryland Port Administration. The port is responsible for $3 billion a year in personal wages and salaries and more than $300 million a year in state and local taxes.

The local contract covers workplace issues are specific to Baltimore. The ILA agreed to a broader master agreement covering compensation and rules for container and vehicular shipments at all East Coast ports earlier this year. ILA locals in several cities still are negotiating local agreements, but Baltimore is the only port facing a strike.

The ILA’s master contract covers container and roll-on, roll-off wages, as well as medical benefits, container royalties and other coastwide issues. Local contracts cover work rules, pensions and other port-specific issues.

The Steamship Trade Association is working towards a speedy resolution of the issue. RCL Agencies will continue to monitor the situation and report any updates as to  when vessel operations and cargo receipt and delivery will resume. Please be guided accordingly.