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9/6/2012 5:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

East, Gulf Dock Contract Talks to Resume This Month

Jacksonville Port Authority

Stalled labor negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association and management negotiator United States Maritime Alliance will resume the week of Sept. 17, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service said Thursday.

Contract talks in advance of a Sept. 30 contract expiration date broke off last month, raising fears that international cargo service during the peak shipping season would be disrupted if a strike occurred.

“Upon the request of [FMCS], the parties have agreed to resume negotiations under our auspices during the week of Sept. 17,” FMCS Director George Cohen said in a statement.

The location and subject of the talks were not disclosed. ILA represents workers at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports.

The National Retail Federation said in a statement it was pleased talks would resume.

“It is critical that negotiations continue without disruptions to the supply chain that could impact the critical holiday shipping season and the overall U.S. economy,” said Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president, supply chain and customs policy.

The two sides in July said agreement was reached on issues such as chassis repair and automation. The union also has identified the possible elimination of jobs as a key issue.

By Rip Watson
Senior Reporter

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