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At the request of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) have agreed to resume contract negotiations during the week of September 17, 2012.
In making the announcement, the FMCS said, “Due to the sensitivity of this high profile dispute and consistent with the Agency’s longstanding practice, we will not disclose either the location of the meeting or the content of the substantive negotiations that will take place.”
FMCS successfully mediated the 10-day West Coast Ports closing in 2002. That shutdown cost the national economy an estimated $1 billion a day, said FMCS.
FMCS was created under the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act). FMCS explains its role saying, mediation is a voluntary process, bringing a neutral third-party into a negotiation as a facilitator. It may or may not lead to an agreement between the parties.
The labor contract between the ILA and USMX expires on Sept. 30, 2012.
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