WASHINGTON, DC—Cargo will continue to flow through ports in the US northeast, at least for the next three months.
Under the direction of the direction of the US Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) have agreed to extend their collective bargaining session by 90 days. The talks were originally set to expire on September 30, but now they will continue until December 29.
In a statement, FMCS director George Cohen said, “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.”
During this extended negotiation period, talks will address both the Master Agreement and any local agreements between the dock workers and the terminal operators.
In theory, this should mean that shipping companies that were ready to impose a port congestion surcharge if there was no agreement reached by September 30, shouldn’t be imposing those extra fees until December at the earliest.