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Venable partner Ashley Craig was quoted in American Shipper on March 27, 2012 about growing labor tensions between marine terminal operators and unionized dockworkers along the Eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast. The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) will need to negotiate a new master contract by September 30 or face possible intervention by the federal government. The situation is similar to a 2002 lockout of the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU) which has pledged to support the ILA.

Commenting on the possibility of the ILWU joining the ILA in a possible work stoppage, Craig said, “A full-scale sitdown on the West Coast is unlikely because choking off the entire nation from international ocean commerce would invite swift federal intervention… But the ILWU could try to flex its muscle through smaller actions at certain ports, or a work slowdown, to demonstrate sympathy with the ILA.”