UPDATE: ILA and USMX Extend Agree to Extend Contract until Dec. 29

September 20, 2012 | The Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) announced today that the US Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) have agreed to a 90 day extension of their contract (until December 29) therefore averting the threat of a strike on the East Coast ports on September 30.

The statement by FMCS Director George H. Cohen follows:

I am pleased to announce that at the close of today’s productive negotiation session, in which progress was made on several important subjects, the parties have agreed to extend the collective bargaining agreement due to expire on September 30, 2012 for a ninety (90) day period, i.e. through December 29, 2012. 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.

This extension will provide the parties an opportunity to focus on the outstanding core issues in a deliberate manner apart from the pressure of an immediate deadline. The negotiations on the Master Agreement will be conducted during the same time frame as negotiations for local agreements. The negotiations will continue under the auspices of the FMCS. Due to the sensitive nature of these high profile negotiations, we will have no further comment on the schedule for the negotiations, their location, or the substance of what takes place during those negotiations.

“The Toy Industry Association and its members were thrilled to learn that ILA and USMX have agreed to extend their negotiations through year-end,” said Carter Keithley, Toy Industry Association president.  “This step will help to assure that the upcoming holidays will be happy for families and kids across the country.”

TIA will continue to track the negotiations and the impact the proposed strike has on toy companies and retailers. [Read a recent Toy News Tuesday article about the potential repercussions of a strike]

Questions can be submitted via e-mail to Rebecca Mond, TIA Director of Federal Government Affairs.