New York Shipping Association And International Longshoremen's Association Continue To Disadvantage Veterans In Their Referral And Hiring Practices
April 22, 2014
The Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor strongly supports the hiring of military
veterans in the Port of New York-New Jersey. Over the past several months, however, instead of
recruiting and hiring veterans, as promised, the New York Shipping Association, Inc. (NYSA) and
International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO (ILA), have dedicated most of their efforts to
employing and training their own referrals, to the severe disadvantage of the veterans.
In a joint press release dated October 25, 2013, the NYSA and ILA touted their dedication
and pledged their commitment to hiring returning veterans. NYSA President John Nardi declared
that, " [o]ne of the industry's proudest accomplishments in the new contract is a hiring and
recruiting plan to enhance diversity in the workforce. The industry will recruit new employees
using a plan that calls for 51% of our new workforce to be comprised of military veterans while the
balance will be NYSA referrals (24%) and ILA referrals (25%)." ILA President Harold Daggett
indicated that, "[ v ]eterans bring a wide variety of skills, as well as a flexibility and adaptability that
will enhance the industry's workforce." He further added that "[t)hose who served our nation
should not have to battle for job opportunities at home."
One need only to refer to the attached hiring status statistics, as found on the NYSA's
website at http://nysanet.org/wp-content/uploads/HiringStatusv5.pdf, to see that the industry has
fallen far short of their promise. According to the NYSA's figures, while their plan calls for the
hiring of 348 military veterans, they have only sent 216 veteran candidates to the Waterfront
Commission to be prequalified as longshoremen. Many of these individuals have just recently been
sent in response to the Waterfront Commission's demand tor veteran candidates. By contrast, the
industry has sent 192 ILA candidates (there are only 171 available openings) and 212 NYSA
candidates (there are only 163 available openings) to the Waterfront Commission to be processed.
Over the past several months, the Waterfront Commission has had to forcefully advocate on
behalf of veterans whose background checks have been cleared and who are simply waiting for the
NYSA and ILA to put them to work in the Port. This is unfortunate since, as expressed by Senator
Raymond Lesniak at a recent press conference held by the NYSA and ILA, "[v]eterans should be at
the front of the line, not the back of the line." While the NYSA and ILA's referrals will have the
same technical seniority as those veteran candidates who are eventually hired, the industry's
frontloaded referrals have received training and employment opportunities far in advance of the
As of today, there are over 50 veterans who have been cleared by the Waterfront
Commission and who are waiting for industry sponsorship in order to work in the Port. The
Waterfront Commission urges the NYSA and ILA to immediately sponsor those individuals.
In addition, if you are a veteran looking for employment, we urge you to submit your
resume and DD214 to the NYSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.