More than 2,000 longshore members of the International Longshoremen's Association walked off the job at the Port of Baltimore, the 12th largest in the U.S. by container volume. This crippled the import of high value commodities like BMW, Fiat and Mazda automobiles. The dispute is based on workers at the port refusing a coastwide contract -- covering ports from Maine to Texas.
Local 333 of ILA went on strike Wednesday, October 16, 2013 to protest the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore Inc.'s lack of negotiating in "good faith" over a contract that covers work conditions.
The Port of Baltimore was able to lure shipping contracts away from ports in New York and New Jersey, bringing 65,000 Mazda vehicles annually from Japan and importing 30,000 Fiats, as well as shipping over 124,000 vehicles made by the Chrysler Group last year. Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz ships 1/3 of its cars through Baltimore.
It was begun as an indefinite strike and brought the movement of all cargo at the port to a complete halt. The other three ILA locals at the port are honoring the picket lines in solidarity, despite having agreed to local contracts.