I Hope They Do Strike

It seems that talks between the ILA and East Coast/Gulf ports have broken down

Labor negotiations covering U.S. ports from Maine to Texas have taken a sharp turn for the worse, and the International Longshoremen’s Association now says there could be a strike — the first in decades — in less than six weeks.

The current contract covering Charleston and the other ports expires Sept. 30. Maritime businesses fear that shippers and their clients could start diverting cargo to West Coast ports as the date draws closer.

Let the millions of unemployed people, the millions of people who are working 3 jobs to make their mortgage payment, the veterans whose benefits Obama wants to reduce, let all these folks see Obama cater to these guys

“ILA workers are among the most highly compensated workers in the country, on average receiving $124,138 a year in wages and benefits, which puts them ahead of all but 2 percent of all U.S. workers. They earn an average hourly wage of $50, more than double the $23.19 average for all U.S. union workers. They also pay no premiums and minimal co-pays and deductibles for a healthcare plan that is better than most U.S. employers provide their workers.

“At the Port of New York and New Jersey, 34 ILA members make over $368,000 a year in wages and benefits; one of every three makes over $208,000 a year – not including annual bonuses based on the weight of container cargo. These “container royalties” totaled $232 million in 2011 – or an average of $15,500 for ILA workers on the East and Gulf coasts.

Of course the ILA makes it very clear that they expect Obama’s full support

It should be noted parenthetically that the health care benefits of ILA workers are those which all Americans will enjoy when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.

I’m not sure “enjoy” is the word most people would use, and if you think that Obamacare will give us all ILA-level health care, well, there’s a bridge a couple of hundred yards from where I’m sitting that I’ll give you a good price on.

The ILA press release gives a beautifully clear insight into their mindset, however; look at this paragraph

When containerization started the ILA was faced with a huge displacement of worker whose jobs were eliminated by the ominous steel boxes. The ILA was at a crossroad – allow containerization to be implemented or refuse. The ILA agreed to allow containerization to flourish but negotiated a fee based on the weight of each loaded container to be used for annual payments to the longshore workers whose job opportunities had been compromised due to containerization. As the number of containers being handled increased, the negotiated payment for each worker increased. Rather than being an annual bonus for each worker, as USMX suggests, this payment is compensation for the job opportunities lost by permitting containerization.

Containerization was one of the most important advances in shipping, no, I’m willing to say it was THE most important advance in shipping in the 20th century (you remember the 20th Century: it was so good Joe Biden thinks we are still in it). It led to unparalleled growth in efficiency and secure, safe, low cost shipping over sea and the subsequent flow onto truck and rail and thence direct to your store, creating millions upon millions of job opportunities in economies around the world.

And look at the ILA’s attitude towards it: they “allowed” it to happen once they got their protection money.

Yep, let ’em strike. Expose this to the voters right before the election.

18 Responses to “I Hope They Do Strike”

  1. Gary from Jersey says:

    Port of Newark alone supports some 160,000 jobs in the region. Strike damage would be phenomenal. We’ll see if Obama has the stones to put our economy ahead of a greedy and corrupt union. It would be a first because he probably doesn’t care what’s at stake for us proles.

  2. Skyler says:

    I worked at a factory that was staffed with the west coast equivalent, the ILWU (international longshoremen and warehouse union). They are violent and were major players in the Seattle riots back in the 90’s.

    These people are very serious thugs. This is aimed at making a mess right before the elections.

    The Occupy movement was just a dress rehearsal. I’m betting that these two efforts will be combined.

  3. AliceH says:

    Maybe this is why DHS is buying up all the ammo?

  4. major dad says:

    Longshoremen’s union members are thugs?! Who would have ever guessed that? They have a history of violence that goes way back, could get very ugly…

  5. JeffS says:

    Once upon a time, governors used to deploy the National Guard to break up strikes. Sounds like a tradition that needs reviving.

  6. Mojo says:

    The ILA is also full of lovely folks who are so smart they threaten reporters – on camera – with a bat for being in their parking lot.

  7. Skyler says:

    Once upon a time, business owners kept their factories safe from union thugs by mounting machine guns at the entry points. As they should. Terrorism is terrorism, whether conducted by muslims or longshoremen.

  8. Strike 2012 says:

    I’m in the ILA in VA and the greater 80% of workers make 50-70k in all weather conditions around the clock with sporadic bouts of no work at all. No one make $50 an hour unless it is overtime or double time. $32 is the regular rate since the 90’s. we make good money because we can kill ourselves daily dealing with cranes, machinery, and heavy equipment. Yes, there is corruption up north but to placate an entire union as such is very far from the truth. The shippers are penny pinchers who have cut so much fat off of the union since the 80’s that now there is nothing left. We are protecting what looks like the last 10 years of USA labor before everything is controlled by automation. so fuck off! Don’t pretend you know what you are talking about because you’re reading some USMX bullshit.

  9. major dad says:

    So, Strike 2012, do you deny that Longshoremen have a history of using violence? BTW you can fuck off.

  10. Mr. Bingley says:

    “Yes, there is corruption up north but to placate an entire union as such is very far from the truth.”

    That’s also very far from English.

    One of the biggest reasons you guys in Suffolk (along with Charleston and Jacksonville/Port Everglades) have seen such an upsurge in business over the past decade was due to the very corruption you refer to.

    I happen to ship cargo to ports all along the East and Gulf coasts, so I do in fact know a bit beyond “USMX bullshit.”

  11. Gunslinger says:

    I notice Suck 2012 doen’t mention benefits packages and retirement bennies. That’s where the goonions do their best job sucking up the gravy.

    Learn some manners while you’re at it Suckboy.

  12. JeffS says:

    That was a fast response from an ILA supporter. Looks like they have an information operations cell up and running already.


    BTW, “Strike 2012”, $50K-$70K annual pay is pretty good. According to the Census Bureau, the median household income for the period 2006-2010 is $51,914. I don’t know what your numbers are based on, but I’m fairly sure that the median household income has dropped a lot since 2010.

    Oh, and considering a crippling strike in the middle of a depression (or “a sluggish recovery from a recession” if you listen to the MSM)? Putting the union ahead of the country, worsening an already crappy economy, just so you can squeeze more money that will be worth less in a few years? That’s pure, unadulterated, selfish, self-centered, greedy bullshit.

    Fuck off and die.

  13. JeffS says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Guns. Add those in, and the ILA members pull in a lot bigger paycheck than most of the country.

    Something tells me that Scrotum 2012 isn’t blogging on its own time. Or dime. I smells me a professional troll.

  14. nick bold says:

    Hey hey hey. U guys r really rattling on about issues u don’t kno much about. Iv been a longshoreman for 8 yrs. The wk is hard dirty and dangerous. 1 of my female longshoremen was killed a couple of months ago. The shipping co make millions and thy r tryn 2 take away jobs and benefits. We rnt pencil pushers. We lose fingers legs and our lives doing this job. Do u think w should b wkn 4 10 and hr . the waterfront isn Walmart. Mayb uo should get some real info b4 u judge.

  15. Truth says:

    Strike 2012 is mostly correct … sorry Strike 2012, but you must work in Norfolk and have high card seniority because it’s not that way over here in Newport News. It’s a struggle to work even 5 days a week straight, and not having seniority makes it even harder on the lower cards.

    Most union members do not even make 50K a year tho. The majority where I work in Va. don’t.

    All this talk about violence is just that, talk. (wait, I thought you guys love rugged individualism) Unions haven’t been that way for many many decades. The east coast ILA hasn’t been on a strike of any signifigance for decades as well, but have given into management’s concessions time and time again.

    These benefits you misinformed folks speak of only come into play if a union member makes the required number of hours in the year to get those benefits. If they don’t make the hours then they don’t get the benefits.

    And even if all members of the ILA made all the money and had all the benefits some of you have been decrying, I would think it would be applauded. The US needs a vibrant and growing middle class with high wages and benefits and union workers provide some of that.

    Sniping and snipping at the unions defeats that, and sorta sounds like jealousy and class warfare. (something else I thought you guys were against) I could go on and on, but I’m not gonna change any minds here.

    The echo chamber of ignorance and out right lies about the union and the President in here is deafening.

    You nuts deserve the country you have been getting and will eventually get once Romney or a worse Republican gets in office. You are cutting off your nose to spite your face, too bad the rest of the US will have to go down with along with you.

  16. major dad says:

    Interesting “Truth” just what lies are you refering to? Say what you want about unions defeats but look what union demands have done to the steel, and auto industries. They once were a needed entity, now not so much. Seems one of the big laments is that your jobs are becoming automated, welcome to 21st century. We used to be a nation of farmers, then factory workers, things change and we change, that’s just the way it is. So keep trolling there Truth, I’ll bet you find that a nation with the unemployment as high as it is, is not real sympathetic to employed workers striking. Maybe if we had a president who was business friendly we’d have more commerce i.e. you would have more work. Here’s hoping that happens after November.

  17. Turtle says:

    Where have all the smart Americans gone? All I hear is longshoreman make too much money. Longshoreman have great benefits. Longshoreman are greedy. Well why is it wrong for hard working people to want fair pay and good benefits for there families. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about the crazy profits the big corporations make year In and year out. This companies could not make these huge profits each year without the hard working men and women that do the work everyday. That’s you and me!! Each year they make higher and higher profits but working Americans pay stay the same or go down. Our benefits get cut each year to save the companies money. When is enough enough!! When is it the working people’s turn to make there fair share. Every where you look prices are going up on everything. Yet our pay doesn’t keep up. it’s time for the working Americans to stand up and get the pay they are worth for sacrificing all there time and efforts to make these companies profitable. Yes people are out of jobs but that is the unions fault. It’s the big corporations cutting jobs and making people do double the work so they can pad there pockets! Walmart makes billions each year in profit but pays there employees peanuts!! Yet everyone sees it as atleast we have a job. Come on Americans it’s time for us to stand up and be heard and start getting what our hard work deserves!!stop letting big businesses push us around saying we have to do our part in this recession to keep our business strOng and comPetitive. Americans have done there part and now it’s time for big business to do there part and pay all American hard workers there worth. They have gotten away with it far too long. Stop padding there pockets and start standing up for what you are really worth!! Nobodies time is worth 7 dollars an hour. And these companies can afford to pay everyone a lot better. Stand up America and do what’s right for the working people!! Just my two cents worth.

  18. Mike says:

    Turtle writes “Nobodies [sic] time is worth 7 dollars an hour”

    I can’t help but feel Turtle knows neither the value of a dollar, nor the length of an hour. Far too many people deserve much less than they make, and they’re not all at the CEO end of the pay scale.

    Likewise “why is it wrong for hard working people to want fair pay” is a bit tough to swallow. What’s fair? Should we define a fair wage by what the global rate is, and factor in what a Bangladeshi would request to do the same job? Should cost of living in each area be considered, so that a burger flipper in NYC would make 3x a burger flipper in Kansas?

    Fairness is an impossible dream. It’s never going to happen. What’s fair to me is unfair to someone else, and vice versa.

    If you *have* a job today, and you *like* your job, then you’ve got a tough sell explaining why you need more compensation when so many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. 20% of the labor force doesn’t like their job, and would happily cross picket lines to do yours. And as far as they’re concerned, doing so is perfectly fair game.

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