The International Longshoreman's Association reached an agreement one year ahead of its contract expiration, approving a two-year extension.
The union of maritime workers represents 65,000 longshoremen on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes. The group also represents workers on major US rivers and in Puerto Rico and Eastern Canada.
The contract extension reportedly removes contributions from carriers to a royalty account that funds union benefits. The extension also permits lower tier dockworkers to graduate to the top scale of $31 per hour in 2012 after 9 years of experience instead of the11 years required under the earlier proposal.
The contract extension will be submitted to members by mid-November for approval.