Longshoremen told to pay $3.8 million for strike

An arbitrator has ordered a longshoremen’s local to pay $3.8 million in damages for a three-day strike at the Port of Baltimore that he said violated a no-strike provision in the longshoremen’s master contract.

Michael Angelos, president of the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore, which represents port employers, confirmed Wednesday that the arbitrator issued the ruling last week. But he declined further comment, citing the sensitivity of ongoing negotiations with the union.

McAllister Towing of Baltimore, Inc.

(The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz, file)

It was not immediately clear to whom the money would be paid or whether the union could appeal. Local president Riker “Rocky” McKenzie declined comment Wednesday.

Local 333 of the International Longshoremen’s Union went on strike for three days in October, paralyzing the port, one of the largest on the East Coast. The arbitrator had previously ruled the strike invalid.

The union agreed to a cooling-off period after it ended its strike. That cooling-off period has ended. According to the Steamship Trade Association’s website, management offered a revised contract Jan. 15.

Richard Scher, spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, said the state has no role in the contract negotiations but is encouraging both sides to reach an agreement.

“When you have a labor situation like we had, it’s not good for anybody associated with the port,” Scher said.

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