NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A new round of negotiations has
been scheduled in the dispute between shipping companies and dock workers at
ports along the East Coast.
Federal mediators announced the new talks on Thursday. They are scheduled for
the week of Sept. 17.
The longshoremen's contract expires at the end of September, and some
retailers have already begun re-routing ships in anticipation of a possible
Key issues in the labor dispute include overtime rules and royalty payments
to longshoremen based on container weight.
The U.S. Maritime Alliance, which represents shippers, says union members are
taking advantage of loose overtime rules and driving up shipping costs. The
longshoremen's union says a small minority are being singled out to unfairly
characterize the whole membership.