By  on April 10, 2013

NEW YORK — The rank and file of the International Longshoremen’s Association overwhelmingly approved a new six-year master contract covering some 14,500 waterfront workers late Tuesday night in a vote conducted at ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast covered in the agreement.

The ILA negotiated the new contract with United States Maritime Alliance, representing container carriers, direct employers and port associations serving the East and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. The settlement ends more than a year of negotiations between employers and the ILA. With the assistance of the offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, the ILA and USMX negotiated well beyond the original contract deadline of Sept. 30, 2012, agreeing to a series of extensions to keep cargo moving and bargaining continuing rather than engage in a devastating strike or lockout that retailers and apparel brands said would have severely interrupted the flow of imports onto store shelves.

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