More than 800 cruise ship baggage handlers from the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local #1526 are completing a customized customer service training course in preparation for the 2014 cruise season at Port Everglades. The course teaches customer service excellence, and is designed specifically for porters at Port Everglades and taught by ILA members.

“Our main message is to treat our cruise guests the way that we would want to be treated if we were taking a vacation,” said ILA Local #1526 President Gus Wilkerson III. “Most of this information is common sense, but sometimes we need to be reminded of how the customers feel when they are traveling and our role representing Greater Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, the cruise lines and our fellow members who are all professionals.”  
       
The mandatory training course incorporates circumstances specific to the everyday experiences that porters encounter as they assist cruise guests at Port Everglades. Greetings, attire, body language and dealing with difficult situations and passengers are some of the key topics. There are also sections on safety and security.

ILA Local 1526, chartered in 1937, currently has 840 members. The International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO is the largest union of maritime workers in North America, represents upwards of 65,000 longshoremen on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Great Lakes, major U.S. rivers, Puerto Rico and Eastern Canada.