BALTIMORE (Bloomberg) -- Baltimore’s port, a gateway for autos from BMW and Mazda Motor Corp., partially reopened with car shipments still idled even as striking longshoremen resumed work on container vessels.
“The ILA is going back to work under master contract conditions,” said John Leichling, president of Local 1429, one of Baltimore’s four chapters, in a phone interview.
Baltimore’s Local 333 chapter had rejected a contract signed by the International Longshoremen’s Association, covering ports from Maine to Texas, and announced a work stoppage on Oct. 15. The other three chapters, including 1429, which have ratified the contract, joined 333 in the strike.
The contract, which needs to be ratified by all local labor unions, covers containers, and roll-on, roll-off farm and construction heavy equipment, said Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, which is not involved in the negotiations.
But that contract excludes automobiles, which are handled by 333. That chapter is still negotiating local agreements, Scher said.
A shipment of Mazda autos that was due in Baltimore today was delayed en route for reasons unrelated to the strike, said Nick Beard, a spokesman for the carmaker.
“We’re still monitoring the situation,” said Beard by telephone.
Mazda signed a five-year contract in August that will bring as many as 65,000 vehicles a year to the port from Japan.
Baltimore also handles autos from BMW, Fiat and Mercedes-Benz.
Negotiations between Local 333 and the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore Inc. are still ongoing, said member Gwendolyn Williamson in a phone interview. A representative of the Steamship Trade Association declined to comment by telephone.