Felistowe Dockers

Felistowe Dockers

Saturday, 21 January 2017

28th October 1996, Port of Waterford, Ireland



28th October 1996, Port of Waterford, Ireland --- There were very high winds, over 100 miles per hour. And one container crane broke free from its clamps and was blown half a mile down the track in the wind until it crashed into the second container crane, and it collapsed in a heap on the ground. One crane remained standing, the other was destroyed. I included 1 picture from 1993 of both container cranes when they were brand new. I was a crane driver and electrician in the Port of Waterford container terminal at the time of the accident. The cranes were build by Morris Container Cranes of England. I also worked with the electricians building and wiring up these cranes in 1993.


Longshoremen Oppose Fully Automated Terminals



Harold J. Daggett, President of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has voiced his opposition to fully automated terminals in the lead up to talks with management leaders from the United States Maritime Alliance beginning February 13. 
The Association’s current six-year Master Contract will run until September 30, 2018, giving it 20 months to negotiate a new Master Contract at Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports or extend the current agreement.
“I predict the issue of automation will dominate our Master Contract talks,” he said. Just recently, the New York Times featured an article “The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation.” The article revealed some shocking statistics from an industry whose many workers are members of our fellow AFL-CIO affiliated union, the United Steel Workers. 
“Between 1962 and 2005, the article said, the steel industry lost 400,000 jobs, totaling 75 percent of its workforce. Most startling for the displaced workers: shipments of steel did not decline over that period. Profits were maintained, while jobs were cut. The nearly half a million jobs lost in the steel industry was attributed to automation – new technology called the minimill.
“The ILA will not allow automation to rip apart our livelihoods and destroy our jobs and families. Right from the outset, the ILA intends to let management know that we are totally opposed to fully-automated terminals.”
Fully automated terminals will spell the end of longshoring jobs, no questions asked, said Daggett.
“The ILA has no problem with semi-automated terminals. We know that we cannot stop progress, and many forms of new technology help our workers do their jobs more efficiently, more safely, but without the threat of job elimination. We will continue to press for training and retraining for our ILA members.”
Another issue that the ILA intends to put greater emphasis on is local contract bargaining. The last time around, several ILA local ports had failed to reach agreement on their local contracts before the Master Contract was ratified in April 2013. 
“Major ports like Baltimore, Hampton Roads and Charleston were without local agreements for months and even years after the Master Contract took effect. The ILA will make certain that ILA members at all ports are satisfied with their local agreements before we ask them to ratify the entire contract package,” says Daggett.
“The ILA enters these informal talks more united and stronger than ever. We look to work with our management partners keeping our industry strong and vibrant, but will not submit to agreeing on anything that eliminates jobs.”
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.

http://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/longshoremen-oppose-fully-automated-terminals




ILA automation stance signals tough labor talks.

Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor | Jan 05, 2017 5:43PM EST

ILA President Harold Daggett has vowed to fight fully automated terminals like this one at Rotterdam.
The president of the International Longshoremen’s Association issued a fresh attack on automation Thursday, reminding shippers that the next negotiations on a new US East and Gulf Coast dockworker contract could be contentious.

In a message to members on the ILA’s Facebook site, ILA President Harold Daggett predicted automation “will dominate” the union’s next round of bargaining with United States Maritime Alliance on a contract to replace the one that expires Sept. 30, 2018.

Daggett said he will emphasize the union’s opposition to fully automated terminals and its renewed emphasis on local contract issues when ILA and USMX representatives meet informally Feb. 13-17 in advance of formal bargaining that’s expected to start later this year.

The impending ILA-USMX negotiations come as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association also are preparing to open bargaining on a West Coast dockworker contract to replace the one that expires July 1, 2019.

Cargo interests are closely watching developments on both coasts. Coastwide shutdowns were narrowly averted during the negotiations for the ILA in 2012-2013 and the ILWU in 2014- 2015.

The ILA and USMX discussed the idea of an early start to negotiations on a contract that would extend as far as 2025, but that initiative lost momentum amid disputes over issues including ILA jurisdiction over maintenance and repair of chassis.

The next ILA negotiations promise to be difficult. Container lines say productivity gains promised in the current New York-New Jersey local contract have been slow to materialize. Daggett, meanwhile, remains suspicious of automation and wants to maintain ILA jobs and jurisdiction.

Daggett’s Facebook post wasn’t the first time he’d raised the issues of automation and local contracts.

Last summer, Daggett delivered a fiery anti-automation speech at an International Dockworkers Council meeting in Miami. He raised the issue again last month when ILWU officials visited his Local 1804-1 in North Bergen, New Jersey.

“Their president Bob McEllrath and I both know that fully automated terminals spell the end of longshoring jobs, no questions asked,” Daggett wrote in his Facebook post. “The ILA will not allow automation to rip apart our livelihoods and destroy our jobs and families. Right from the outset, the ILA intends to let management know that we are totally opposed to FULLY-AUTOMATED TERMINALS.

“The ILA has no problem with semi-automated terminals – we know that we cannot stop progress and many forms of new technology help our workers do their jobs more efficiently, more safely, but without the threat of job elimination. We will continue to press for training and retraining for our ILA members,” Daggett wrote.

No fully automated terminals currently exist in East or Gulf Coast ports, although Virginia and GCT Bayonne in New York-New Jersey use remote-controlled, rail-mounted gantry cranes for stacking containers in terminal yards. Last fall, the Virginia port placed a $217 million order for 86 RMGs as part of a major upgrade of its terminals.

Daggett said the ILA is willing “to work with our management partners keeping our industry strong and vibrant, but will not submit to agreeing on anything that eliminates jobs.”

The ILA’s increased emphasis on local contracts follows a messy situation that arose in Baltimore after the 2012-13 negotiations.

ILA contracts are negotiated in two levels. The ILA-USMX master contracts covers wages, the medical plan, carrier-paid container royalties and other coastwide issues. Supplemental local contracts cover work rules, pensions, and other port-specific issues.

It’s been common for negotiations on local contracts in some ports to extend months or even years after ratification of the coastwide agreement.

In 2013, after the master contract was ratified, the ILA’s largest local in Baltimore struck for three days over local issues. In a precedent-setting award, an arbitrator ruled that once the master contract takes effect, its no-strike clause can’t be nullified by a dispute over local issues.

Several times since then, including at the ILA’s 2015 convention, Daggett has said he would seek changes to ensure that the union retains leverage in local contract negotiations. He reiterated that position in his Facebook post.

“The last time around, several ILA local ports had failed to reach agreement on their local contracts before the master contract was ratified in April 2013,” Daggett wrote. “Major ports like Baltimore, Hampton Roads and Charleston were without local agreements for months and even years after the master contract took effect. The ILA will make certain that ILA members at all ports are satisfied with their local agreements before we ask them to ratify the entire contract package.”

During the 2012 and 2013 coastwide negotiations, the knottiest issue was the local contract covering the Port of New York and New Jersey. Ocean carriers in USMX pushed hard for productivity improvements at the East Coast’s largest and highest-cost port.

More than three years later, the ILA and the New York Shipping Association are still trying to implement changes including “relief gangs,” or second shifts. The port now uses open-ended shifts that require excess staffing and extensive overtime to cover paid breaks, or “blows,” of up to several hours.

Contact Joseph Bonney at joseph.bonney@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney.

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