Dockworkers ratify new 6-year contract

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (AP) — Dockworkers along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico have ratified a new six-year contract, ending more than a year of negotiations.

The International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO, posted news of the "overwhelming" contract ratification on its website late Tuesday. Vote totals from the 14,500 longshoremen are still being tallied.

The union says the contract with the United States Maritime Alliance includes wage increases totaling $3 an hour spread out over the life of the agreement. By the final year of the new contract, the hourly pay rate will be $35 an hour. There also is contract language protecting workers who have been displaced due to new technology and automation.

ILA President Harold J. Daggett says the contract achieved "landmark improvements."