ILA union lawsuit demands termination of main contract in new US terminal – gCaptain
By Gavin van Marle (The Loadstar) –
The east coast of the United States is poised for another deadly encounter between a dockers union, a shipping company and terminal operators.
The International Longshoremen Association (ILA) has launched a lawsuit against Hapag-Lloyd and the American Maritime Alliance.
At the center of the claim is the new Hugh K Leatherman container terminal at the Port of Charleston, the first new container capacity in the United States in more than a decade when it opened this month.
The ship’s first call was by Hapag-Lloyd’s 3200 teu Yorktown Express, which arrived on April 9 and is the subject of an ILA claim for $ 200 million in damages.
The ILA says the workers who operate the new terminal are not members of the ILA and that the handling of the vessel violated the framework contract between the ILA and the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) – the organization that represents carriers and terminals in framework contract negotiations with ILA.
The ILA complaint, filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County, states: “The Leatherman Terminal has been under construction for years and, on several occasions over the past 24 months, the ILA has contacted USMX for assurance that the terminal would be the one where all container and ro-ro work that has historically been performed by the ILA would be performed by the main contract bargaining unit, in accordance with the jurisdiction provisions of main contract work. USMX failed and refused to give the requested assurances to the ILA.
He adds: “On the contrary, the information received by the ILA was that the Leatherman terminal would have non-bargaining unit workers employed at various positions for the unloading of containers from ships and the handling of containers in the terminal. maritime, instead of the longshoremen represented by the ILA which are covered by the framework contract. “
It also says the carrier and USMX were told that calling the terminal would be a violation of the master contract, which was recently renewed in 2018.
He says: “USMX knew that Hapag-Lloyd intended to bring their vessel to the Leatherman terminal on April 9, 2021. Based on reports and beliefs, USMX did nothing to deter Hapag-Lloyd to use non-negotiating labor and, in fact, may have encouraged them to do so.
“Hapag-Lloyd and USMX were well aware that the work in question would have been managed by members of the ILA who are covered by the framework contract if the vessel had traveled to other eastern and Gulf coasts of the United States. United, including all sea coasts. terminals in New Jersey. “
According to the eeSea liner database, the Yorktown Express is deployed on the Alliance’s AL3 transatlantic service.
However, it would also appear that there could be other alleged violations of the ILA-USMX Master Agreement, given that the terminal was also selected to serve the Alliance’s EC2 Asia-US East Coast service. as well as the AWE2 round-the from Ocean Alliance. – global service.
According to SCSPA Managing Director Jim Newsome, the Hugh Leatherman Terminal has been in development for over 20 years and is one of the largest facilities on the East Coast. The first berth is capable of accommodating vessels up to 20,000 teu and adds an annual handling capacity of 700,000 teu in Charleston.
Ultimately, there will be three berths and an annual handling capacity of 2.4 million teu.
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