Fear of ILA lawsuit forces CMA CGM to switch Charleston port call
THE International Longshoremen Association (ILA) lawsuit against Hapag-Lloyd, OOCL, and the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) has prompted French shipping giant CMA CGM to change a Charleston port call away from the newly opened Leatherman terminal
04 May 2021 - 19:00
The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) confirmed CMA CGM had expressed concerns about being drawn into the ILA's lawsuit filed in state court in New Jersey and thus opted to switch the arrival on Friday of the CMA CGM Andromeda to Charleston's Wando Welch terminal, reports IHS Media.
The union is seeking to discourage carriers from calling the Leatherman facility due to its objections to crane and yard work being handled by non-union state employees, a longstanding practice at the Southeast ports of Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and Wilmington, North Carolina.
The ILA suit is the most significant East Coast longshore labour conflict in years amid what has been a relatively peaceful labour-management environment on the East Coast versus the more volatile West Coast.
Before CMA CGM expressed concern about calling at Leatherman, the OCEAN Alliance, which the Marseille-based carrier participates in along with Cosco, Evergreen, and OOCL, asked the SCPA to change the terminal call due to a potential berthing conflict with two alliance services.
The terminal call change at Charleston comes after OOCL was recently added to the ILA lawsuit that alleges the carrier, along with Hapag-Lloyd and USMX, conspired to break the existing collective bargaining agreement when they allowed non-union labour to unload a ship at Leatherman.
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