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LA Port Strike Drags Into Day 7, Costs Economy $1B Per Day

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 7:26 AM
  • 7 Replies


LA Port Strike Drags Into Day 7, Costs Economy $1B Per Day

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California’s economy-crippling union strike against the two largest ports in America – the port of Los Angeles and the port of Long Beach – is now dragging on into its seventh day. Each day, the strike costs the economy $1 billion; ships are already heading to Mexico to offload their goods rather than landing in the United States. The ports create approximately three million jobs in California and across the country, and handle 56 percent of the value of cargo imported into the United States.

The strikers – some 800 clerks – are asking for an unbelievable pay raise, from $165,000 to $195,000. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 is supporting the clerks, using their 10,000 member strong local to back their play. The clerks are also afraid that new locks in the Panama Canal will make the ports less trafficked, putting their jobs in danger. But the Harbor Employers Association has already suggested “absolute job security,” full-time pay, pay increases, and a bonus of $3,000.

In the aftermath of Californians’ decision to greenlight continued union control of the government, it’s no wonder that the unions feel emboldened to shut down one of America’s greatest commerce thoroughfares. And meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is trying to force the employers to the table with offers of mediation.

No wonder California is bankrupt.

source


by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 7:26 AM
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wisewhiteowl
by New Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:30 AM
3 moms liked this

It amazes me how people act as though they know what a clerical job down in the port entails. It's not a pay raise, to $195,000.00 This is their entire benefits package,  pay, etc. When I see that they are only getting paid $195,000.00 I wonder if that would even suffice considering the hazardous working conditions they are exposed to. There are approximately anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 trucks that come through each terminal. Each terminal has 5,000 trucks ran by diesel fuel moving cargo in and out of the terminal daily. With that being said, a lot of the clerks who are OCU, work in an office or area that is exposed to the fumes from these diesel semi trucks daily, all day long, their entire shift, everyday for the rest of their life, until they retire, if they live that long. Not only that, but have you ever heard a semi-truck release it's brakes? Well, just in case you don't know what it sounds like, it's like listening to nails going down a chalkboard but magnified 20 times. Many clerks will most definitely suffer hearing loss because of this. The company doesn't supply adequate safety measures and training regarding hearing loss. Then there are hazardous containers that come in and out of the terminal each day, every kind of chemical you could ever imagine, toxic, poisonous, explosive, etc., and the clerks have to deal with these containers directly...and sometimes they leak! Sometimes the terminal is evacuated...but, the person who is at the frontline of all that is a clerk, they check in hazardous containers. So, before you try to post propaganda in favor of the corrupt corporations running America and people like you, I think you better do your homework! I know the facts, I worked down there...I am physically ill, lost all my hair, and the doctors can't tell me why...I know the truth!

candlegal
by Judy on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Yep, no wonder California is going bankrupt.

radioheid
by Libertarian on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM

 They are worried about losing business, losing their jobs, and their response is to strike...for more money and benefits? Yeah, that makes a shit-ton of sense.


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

gdiamante
by Silver Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:25 AM

California is NOT going bankrupt. That is an inaccuracy. Indeed, the state budget deficit has dropped from over 16 billion to less than two billion this year. Look for surpluses ahead.

More on the strike from the Mercury News:

Port of Los Angeles Strike Rolls on as Negotiations Continue

By Brian Sumers, Mercury News

04 December 12

 

egotiations to end the labor strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continued for a fourth consecutive day Sunday, but sources close to the talks said the sides likely were not close to reaching an agreement. | PHOTOS

Reacting to the perceived stalemate, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wrote a letter to both sides Sunday urging them to work around the clock and bring in a government or private mediator to help resolve the issues. The sides have been negotiating, intermittently, since Thursday night.

"The cost is too great to continue down this failed path," Villaraigosa wrote. "Mediation is essential and every available hour must be used."

In broad terms, the key issue remains staffing levels, sources say. Negotiators with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit want to protect employment for as many of their members as possible, while management officials want more flexibility to control the number of temporary and full-time office workers they hire.

Many elected officials and retail executives had pushed the sides to negotiate an end to the work stoppage - possibly one that would even put the strike on hold while the sides continued to talk - but a quick resolution may no longer be possible, sources say.

In the meantime, many containers destined for Southern California sit elsewhere - on ships that cannot be serviced in Long Beach or Los Angeles or at other ports on the West Coast and Mexico.

The strike began at midday Tuesday when some members of the Office Clerical Unit - one of the smallest ILWU locals with only about 800 total members - walked off the job at APM Terminals Pacific Ltd., the largest terminal operator at the Port of Los Angeles. It spread on Wednesday, effectively shutting down three of six terminals in Long Beach and seven of eight terminals in Los Angeles after other union members refused to cross the picket lines.

The complex is by far the busiest shipping hub in the United States - Los Angeles is the top port by container traffic, and Long Beach ranks second, according to industry data.

Many members of the Office Clerical Unit, who provide back office and logistics support to most of the major terminal operators, have been working under terms of a set of contracts that expired in June 2010. Union members claim managers at many of the terminal companies have been quietly shifting jobs to lower-wage workers in other states and countries, an accusation denied by the employers. Management negotiators say the new contracts must stop so-called featherbedding - or providing temporary and permanent jobs to workers even when there is no work to perform.

The strike is only affecting terminals where the union has contract disputes, so a Disney Cruise Line ship called Disney Wonder was able to dock without difficulty on Sunday morning, Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield said.

But the port's focus is cargo containers, the majority of which arrive from Asia on gigantic ships. And Sanfield said port officials are urging both union and management to come to an agreement soon, so the containers can move to warehouses across Southern California and beyond.

"Cargo continues to back up and concern is mounting throughout the worldwide logistics chain," Sanfield said. "We need resolution to prevent further economic damage."

Many logistics industry analysts initially said the strike occurred during a historically weak period for international trade because most retailers have already received their holiday shipments.

But the longer the strike lasts, the deeper the impact on the supply chain, industry experts say. Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation, said in an interview Sunday that it took retailers roughly six months to recover from the impact of a 10-day lockout in 2002 that affected ports throughout the West Coast.

"This shutdown of the ports doesn't just impact the retail industry," Gold said. "You've got manufacturers who are operating just-in-time supply chains, and you've got exports that aren't moving because the ports are shut down. We're in day five. We need it to end now because it's going to take some time to clear through the backups."

The National Retail Federation is one several groups to ask President Barack Obama to wade into the dispute. Under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act governing union-management relations, Obama could invoke an emergency mechanism and ask a federal court to order an 80-day cooling-off period. President George W. Bush used the power during the 2002 lockout.

But Gold said the federation has not heard back from the White House regarding its request, which it delivered by letter, and observers say it is unlikely the president will get involved - at least soon.

Several sources have calculated that the strike is costing the economy more than $1 billion a day, but Jock O'Connell, an international trade economist who studies the shipping industry, said Sunday in an email that the figure is slightly misleading. O'Connell said it will be several weeks before anyone will be able to come up with a good estimate on the true economic cost of the strike.

"That billion-dollar-a-day number wrongly assumes that all of the cargo being delayed or diverted will never be delivered and would have to be entirely written off," O'Connell said. "To be sure, someone in the supply chains will sustain losses because of late deliveries, but nearly all of those goods not being handled right now at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will eventually reach a market."

The strike's local impact could be greater if shippers decide to bring their goods to other ports in the future, but that also won't be known quickly. Logistics industry experts say no shippers like to send their goods to areas known for trouble, but they acknowledge most North American ports have some reliability issues - whether due to labor unrest, poor infrastructure or bad weather.

East Coast ports have had their own issues recently. The ILWU's East Coast counterpart - the International Longshoremen's Association - recently postponed plans for a strike that could have crippled trade there this fall. And the Port of New York and New Jersey still has not fully recovered from damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy in late October.

shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Please read this.

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/11/14/legislative-analyst-deficit-sharply-reduced-california-at-promising-moment/

And it's AP, citing non-partisan sources, as opposed to Breitbart. Deficit has been reduced. Surplus as early as 2014. The state is not going bankrupt in the slightest. Bankruptcy filings way down per PACER. Foreclosures down, property values going back up. We'll be just fine, sorry to disappoint you. Don't worry, maybe we can "fall off" in an earthquake LOL


Quoting candlegal:

Yep, no wonder California is going bankrupt.


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meriana
by Platinum Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 7:18 AM


Quoting wisewhiteowl:

It amazes me how people act as though they know what a clerical job down in the port entails. It's not a pay raise, to $195,000.00 This is their entire benefits package,  pay, etc. When I see that they are only getting paid $195,000.00 I wonder if that would even suffice considering the hazardous working conditions they are exposed to. There are approximately anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 trucks that come through each terminal. Each terminal has 5,000 trucks ran by diesel fuel moving cargo in and out of the terminal daily. With that being said, a lot of the clerks who are OCU, work in an office or area that is exposed to the fumes from these diesel semi trucks daily, all day long, their entire shift, everyday for the rest of their life, until they retire, if they live that long. Not only that, but have you ever heard a semi-truck release it's brakes? Well, just in case you don't know what it sounds like, it's like listening to nails going down a chalkboard but magnified 20 times. Many clerks will most definitely suffer hearing loss because of this. The company doesn't supply adequate safety measures and training regarding hearing loss. Then there are hazardous containers that come in and out of the terminal each day, every kind of chemical you could ever imagine, toxic, poisonous, explosive, etc., and the clerks have to deal with these containers directly...and sometimes they leak! Sometimes the terminal is evacuated...but, the person who is at the frontline of all that is a clerk, they check in hazardous containers. So, before you try to post propaganda in favor of the corrupt corporations running America and people like you, I think you better do your homework! I know the facts, I worked down there...I am physically ill, lost all my hair, and the doctors can't tell me why...I know the truth!

Sounds to me like they should be receiving hazardous duty pay.

gdiamante
by Silver Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Strike over. From KABC:

The tentative deal to end a strike at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach focused less on money and more on job security.

The strike may have gone on for eight days but the negotiations between the union workers and shipping companies have been going on for two years. Clerical workers are expected to return to work after ratifying the deal on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and federal mediators made the announcement late Tuesday night. Not many details surrounding the deal have been released, but it is known that the main issue at hand was not money.

Job security was the big sticking point for union members, who wanted to make sure that when somebody retired locally, the job would be replaced locally and not outsourced. Money wasn't the main focus since workers on average make $84,000 annually.

"We ultimately came together because the employers recognized the critical impact o this port to the nation," said Stephen Berry with the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor Employer Association.

There were concerns that the strike was beginning to hurt the national economy. The stores are trying to stock their shelves before the holidays, and a lot of that merchandise comes through these ports from Asia.

(Copyright ©2012 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)


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