The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) have reached a tentative agreement on the issue of container royalty payments, which was one of the major sticking points in the contract negotiations. The tentative agreement means a strike affecting ports throughout the US East and Gulf Coasts will be averted for now, as the parties have agreed to a 30 day extension of midnight on January 28, 2013. According to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), the federal party helping to broker the deal, the parties will return to the bargaining table and continue to work on the remaining issues. A statement from FMCS read “the agreement on this important subject represents a major positive step toward achieving an overall collective bargaining agreement.”

The above article was contributed by A.N. Deringer Inc.