Dock workers and cargo companies along the east coast are getting an early start to contract negotiations, an effort that could prevent a port slowdown like the one seen on the west coast during 2015.
The International Longshoremen’s Association held informal contract talks last week with the United States Maritime Alliance, which represents the employers of some 25,000 unionized Atlantic and Gulf Coast port workers, according to the Wall Street Journal. In a joint statement, the two organizations say the discussions were “productive and peaceful.”
The meeting came 19 months before the current contract, agreed to in 2013, is set to expire in September of 2018.
Talks first began in 2015, after labor negotiations at west coast seaports forced a slowdown in exports and congested ports on that side of the nation.