Baltimore’s port, a gateway for autos from BMW and Mazda into the US, fully reopened Saturday after an agreement was reached to temporarily extend local contracts. Longshoremen had partially resumed work earlier that day, but still leaving car shipments idled.
Workers have agreed to a 90-day extension on local contracts following talks today between Local 333 of the International Longshoremen’s Association and the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore Inc., said Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration. The extension ends the stoppage and all cargo will be worked, Scher said in an e-mailed statement.
Baltimore’s Local 333 announced a work stoppage on Oct. 15 after failed negotiations with the Steamship Trade Association over its local contract, which covers the handling of items such as automobiles, said Jim McNamara, a spokesman for the ILA. The other three chapters, including 1429, which have no contract disputes, joined 333 in the strike. Local 333 is the only local union that handles autos, Scher also said.
A shipment of Mazda autos that was due in Baltimore today was delayed en route for reasons unrelated to the strike, said Nick Beard, a spokesman for the carmaker. Mazda signed a five-year contract in August that will bring as many as 65,000 vehicles a year to the port from Japan.
Baltimore also handles autos from BMW, Fiat and Mercedes-Benz. BMW hasn’t had to use a contingency plan for the port stoppage, said Kenn Sparks, a spokesman for BMW North America.
) - Monday, October 21st, 2013 - filed under Industry
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