With newly elected leaders, Baltimore's largest dockworkers union will retake control next week from national officials, who stepped in two years ago during contract talks after accusations of corruption among local officers.
The approval by local dockworkers of a long-debated labor contract in Baltimore sends a message to shippers that the city's port is "open for business," according to the International Longshoremen's Association.
Dozens of dockworkers have alleged in a federal lawsuit in Baltimore that national union officials illegally wrested control of their local chapter and thinned its ranks in order to push through an unfavorable labor contract they drafted in collusion with port of Baltimore employers.
The lawsuit specifically takes aim at the ILA's decision last fall to put Local 333 under trusteeship for alleged mismanagement, its refusal to recognize recently admitted members of the local, and "regular, continuing, and institutionalized acts of racial discrimination" committed against Local 333 by the ILA and STA, in violation of a 1971 federal court order designed to end such conduct.
After paying nearly $2,200 in fees and dues and being sworn into the International Longshoremen's Association Local 333 in September, Jeff Worley received a letter Monday telling him his membership was never valid and that he would be issued a refund rather than be placed into a union work rotation.
The port of Baltimore had a banner year in 2014 for overall cargo volumes handled at its public terminals, despite ongoing labor unrest, in part thanks to record numbers of automobiles and cargo containers moving across its docks.
Members of the largest dockworkers union in Baltimore have turned down a proposed local contract that had been tentatively agreed to by national union officials and representatives of Baltimore's port employers.
National labor officials have wrested control of the largest dockworkers union in Baltimore after a year of infighting and accusations that local officers mishandled the union's finances and stacked membership rolls in their favor.
A local longshoremen's union in Baltimore temporarily stopped work loading domestically-used vehicles onto a ship bound for West Africa out of fear of Ebola on board, as an infected Dallas nurse is transferred to NIH in Bethesda.
The largest longshoremen union at the port of Baltimore is being investigated by its international governing body over allegations that its officers inappropriately stacked local rolls with new members deemed favorable to them in upcoming union elections.
Longshoremen who went on strike last year at the port of Baltimore have claimed they are not liable for related losses sustained by their employers in part because a coastwide labor contract banning such strikes does not apply to them.
Local 333 owes nearly $4 million in damages owed to seven shippers affected by a strike last fall that violated the union contract. With payment still pending, it is now being sued in federal court by two shippers' organizations, the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore and the United States Maritime Alliance, seeking to collect the damages on behalf of their members.
Voters trickled out of Hillcrest Elementary School, one of 18 polling places for the District 44B race for state delegate, on Tuesday evening to cast their ballots for the primary election before polls closed at 8 p.m.
Following an investigation that revealed missing funds and questionable financial practices, officials of a national longshoremen's union are considering seizing control of a Baltimore chapter — a move that could complicate contract negotiations at the city's port.
David A. Wagner, former deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation who later headed the Maryland Port Administration before being named in 1989 chief operating officer of the Port of New Orleans, died April 7 of cancer at his home in Mandeville, La. He was 71.
By By Frederick N. Rasmussen and The Baltimore Sun
Local longshoremen went on strike at the port of Baltimore, their actions quickly rippled out into the international shipping trade with negative effects, and now the confusion and costs caused from Chicago to Cartagena to Freeport have taken center stage in their union's efforts to secure a new local contract.
First the port of Baltimore's ongoing labor dispute heated up with a strike, then it was "cooling off" under arbitration, and now it's just simmering with uncertainty — to the benefit of no one, port observers say.
Members of a longshoremen's union at odds with port of Baltimore employers over local labor issues will cast secret ballots next week on whether to accept the employers' "best and final" contract offer.
Carnival Cruise Lines announced on Thursday that it will be returning its Pride cruise liner to the port of Baltimore in March, after new technologies helped it meet federal environmental regulations that threatened to drive up costs.
A federal arbitrator has ordered a local longshoremen's union to pay nearly $4 million in damages to employers at the port of Baltimore, after a three-day strike by the union's members led to lost revenues in October.
Discord has erupted within the longshoremen's union at the heart of the port of Baltimore's raging labor dispute, with some members calling for an end to the union's standoff with port employers and others promising to carry on the fight.
Despite assurances from labor and management officials at the port of Baltimore that their ongoing contract dispute will not result in a strike or lockout, business at the city's public terminals is slowing.
Members of a local longshoremen union "resoundingly rejected" what has been described as a "best and final" contract offer from employers at the port of Baltimore on Monday night, according to the union president.