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HOT Port News from GAC

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GAClogo_cmykYour daily news service from ports around the world.

In this HOT PORT NEWS, read about:
* Germany, Kiel Canal – Repairs complete, lock chamber back in service
* United States, all ports – USMX. ILA move closer to approval of master contract
* Singapore, all ports – Safe navigation in port

DATE: March 14, 2013
COUNTRY: Germany
PORT: Kiel Canal
Repairs complete, lock chamber back in service

The Kiel Canal Authority has announced that emergency repairs to the Big South Lock Chamber at Brunsbuttel have been completed and therefore the lock chamber is now back in service.

However, the Big North Lock Chamber remains out of service. Depending on traffic conditions, waiting times can be expected.

(For information about operations in Germany contact the GAC UK Hub Agency Centre at hub.gb@gac.com)

Source: Sartori & Berger – GAC agent

DATE: March 14, 2013
COUNTRY: United States
PORT: all ports
USMX. ILA move closer to approval of master contract

The Master Contract for International Longshoremen’s Association members at East and Gulf Coast ports moved a step closer to final approval after the Union’s Wage Scale Committee voted to recommend approval of the six-year agreement.

The contract now goes to ILA’s 14, 500 members and to members of the United States Maritime Alliance for ratification.

The formal vote by the 200-member committee came Tuesday on the eve of a meeting between the ILA and the USMX in Tampa and a week after the ILA and the New York Shipping Association reached a tentative agreement on a local contract covering work rules and other issues for the 3, 250 ILA workers at the Port of New York and New Jersey….

….The Master Contract, which must also be approved by the container carriers, terminal operators and port associations that make up USMX’s membership, includes a $1-an-hour wage increase in 2014, 2016 and again in 2017, the final year of the contract. Starting pay for new employees would stay at $20 an hour but they would reach the top wage scale in six years instead of the current nine.

On the issue of container royalties, the contract ensures that for the next six years the carriers will fund the annual royalty payments at $211 million, the amount paid in 2011, plus up to an additional $14 million for administrative expenses, and share equally with the ILA any container royalties that exceed $225 million.

Other provisions of the Master Contract include:
* A $1-an-hour increase in the contribution by employers to local fringe benefit funds, which include pension plans;
* An agreement to protect the jobs of workers displaced by the introduction of new technology and automation at the ports;
* A provision to promote continued ILA jurisdiction over chassis maintenance and repair work within the marine terminals and port areas covered by the contract.

The Master Contract would replace the agreement that expired on Sept. 30, 2012. Negotiations on a new contract began a year ago. Both sides had since agreed twice to extend the contract and to continue bargaining under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen and his team.

The tentative agreement was reached Feb. 1 on the eve of the expiration of the last contract extension.

Since 1977, negotiations with the ILA have resulted in nine new contracts without a single strike or coast-wide work stoppage.

(For information about operations in the USA contact GAC USA at usa@gac.com)

Source: USMX / ILA news release dated 13 March 2013

DATE: March 14, 2013
COUNTRY: Singapore
PORT: all ports
Safe navigation in port

The Maritime and Port Authority has issued a reminder of the importance of safe navigation in port.

Its Port Marine Circular No.03 of 2013 issued today (14 March) states:

As one of the busiest ports in the world, the Port of Singapore is used daily by all types of vessels including tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, ferries, barges under  tow, small craft, etc.

Safety in the port is of utmost importance. Masters and watchkeeping officers of all vessels are reminded to fully comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 at all times to ensure safety of navigation.

Masters and watchkeeping officers of vessels are also reminded of the importance of keeping proper lookouts and proceeding at safe speeds when navigating. They are also reminded to conduct master/pilot exchange of information and passage plan for the safe conduct of vessel movement.

For information about operations in Singapore contact GAC Singapore at singapore@gac.com

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