Author Topic: Re: Dock Workers Strike  (Read 6902 times)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Dock Workers Strike
« on: February 12, 2015, 11:02:41 AM »
The 14-week labor dispute between operators of the 29 West Coast port terminals and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is backing up ships and cargo containers from San Diego to Seattle, leaving produce to wilt and frustrating customers worldwide. Nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 ports are impacted.

Most of our food is shipped in from the West Coast, so local food suppliers are keeping an eye on the negotiations, which now include a mediator. Hawaii is also hooped as all their foods are shipped in from the West Coast.

West Coast:
The Pacific Maritime Association said it will halt loading and unloading at the ports, including busy operations at Long Beach and Los Angeles, on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The union represents 20,000 dockworkers. The labor dispute affects 29 West Coast ports, from Tacoma, Wash., to Long Beach, Calif., that handle an estimated $1 trillion in goods annually.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/11/ports-lockout-response-to-slowdown/23264011/

West Coast ports shutting down... again

Portland, Oregon:
“Some of the imports are being held up at the port because of the strike,” Sheridan Fruit Company owner Lori Torchia said. “So the containers are not able to get to the distributors and therefore we can’t get them here in the store like we used to.”
http://koin.com/2015/02/11/port-slowdown-already-affecting-small-businesses/

The stoppage is having a tremendous impact on fresh fruit being shipped from the Pacific Northwest according to associations representing fruit growers

Hawaii:
http://khon2.com/2015/01/14/west-coast-dock-negotiations-slow-shipping-to-hawaii/

California:
A northern California company sent 46 people home from work on Feb. 5 because it had no work for its employees. The company, a processor of raw agricultural products that are consumed domestically and shipped globally, cannot ship international exports because West Coast ports are shut down.

Fresh citrus from California, which is being picked right now, is impacted too. Some of California’s citrus is being trucked to ports along the Gulf Coast for export

West Coast port slowdown could hurt livestock producers. The North American Meat Institute estimates the port problem has cost the meat and poultry industry more than $40 million per week in lost sales or unanticipated export charges.
http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2015/02/12/west-coast-port-slowdown-threatens-meat-producers/23271251/


Union dock workers earn an average of $147,000 per year and would see their wages climb about 3 percent under a proposal, along with fully-paid health care costs of about $35,000 per year per union member. Pension costs would also rise under a proposal, according to the PMA.


Cedar

Offline Beetlebum

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 11:29:57 AM »

Union dock workers earn an average of $147,000 per year and would see their wages climb about 3 percent under a proposal, along with fully-paid health care costs of about $35,000 per year per union member. Pension costs would also rise under a proposal, according to the PMA.


WOW! $147,000 + $35,000 in health benefits?!? That seems incredible! What am I missing here? ... is the cost of living that high out there now? ...are dock workers that specialized in skill and training? Or is it simply how unions are in 2015?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 11:32:36 AM »
Or is it simply how unions are in 2015?

This one anyway.

Cedar

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 12:35:55 PM »
WOW! $147,000 + $35,000 in health benefits?!? That seems incredible! What am I missing here? ... is the cost of living that high out there now? ...are dock workers that specialized in skill and training? Or is it simply how unions are in 2015?

147k plus benefits is the pay of many high tech workers and independent home-visit nurses, high school principals, some very experienced contractor level guys def pull this in (plumber, high end wood worker, general contractor) and lower than what we pay country supervisors.....

It is a good paying job for out here already, for sure.

But, cost of living in some port areas, San Francisco, LA is indeed very high. When a basic starter home is something like 800k, and taxes are high, well, yeah 147k doesnt go that far.

But, it is a good wage already, and benefits already == I dont see the need to strike for more pay at all

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 06:35:31 PM »
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-port-shutdown-20150212-story.html

Quote
West Coast ports — including the nation's busiest in Los Angeles and Long Beach — will partially shut down for four days as shipping companies plan to dramatically slash dock work amid an increasingly contentious labor dispute..

Terminal operators and shipping lines said that they would stop the unloading of ships Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, because they don't want to pay overtime to workers who, they allege, have deliberately slowed operations to the point of causing a massive bottleneck. 

Offline midwesterner

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 12:08:08 AM »
But, it is a good wage already, and benefits already == I dont see the need to strike for more pay at all
From what I've read, their healthcare benefits will exceed $40,000 by 2018. In 2018, there's a 40% tax assessed against all so-called 'cadillac' healthcare plans that exceed $40,000. The union is negotiating that far in advance, and wants the employer to cover that 40% tax (at least $16,000 a year) instead of having to pay it themselves. (The Longshoreman's union split from the AFL-CIO over the issue of the Affordable Care Act, probably because they knew they were going to get dinged with that tax.)

Expect other unions to follow suit as their contracts into 2018 come up for negotiation.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 12:15:35 AM »
From what I've read, their healthcare benefits will exceed $40,000 by 2018. In 2018, there's a 40% tax assessed against all so-called 'cadillac' healthcare plans that exceed $40,000. The union is negotiating that far in advance, and wants the employer to cover that 40% tax (at least $16,000 a year) instead of having to pay it themselves. (The Longshoreman's union split from the AFL-CIO over the issue of the Affordable Care Act, probably because they knew they were going to get dinged with that tax.)

Expect other unions to follow suit as their contracts into 2018 come up for negotiation.

Oh -- well, that would make sense. I would be pretty upset if I was going to have to come up with that much tax money for a benefit I have always had -- It doesnt seem right to have to pay a tax because you have healthcare thruyour work. That used to be normal. And, what they call Cadalac coverage also used to be failry normal. The new health care levels, well they all sound pretty worthless. Seems like platinum level is what we used to have ata minimum.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 12:17:31 AM »
Regardless, it will still likely make all imports go up in price. Food and goods.

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Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2015, 12:22:51 AM »
Regardless, it will still likely make all imports go up in price. Food and goods.

Cedar

For sure.

Especially with the work slow downs

Offline The Dark Unicorn

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2015, 07:46:36 PM »
My hubby who does drive a truck said its already affecting some of the places he hauls from. LG here in DWF is still waiting in orders that should have been in over a month ago. So that warehouse is shipping less and the workers hours have been cut in the last 2 weeks.

So yes this bottleneck is BS but it has also been ongoing so why is it being allowed to get to this point in a already fragile economy? They aren't exactly getting anyone on their side with the actuons being taken... Slow work, purposely going slow and not meeting basic quota... Any where else they would be out on their tush with replacements happily taking their place. The guarantee job with very little chance of being fired is not helping here... If they were like anyone else they would not pull this ongoing stunt.

Offline midwesterner

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2015, 02:22:39 AM »
Quote from: mountainmoma
It doesnt seem right to have to pay a tax because you have healthcare thru your work. That used to be normal.

Employer-paid healthcare was created during WWII when the federal government instituted wage controls. How does a business attract the best employees when everyone has to pay the same wage? Add benefits. Health insurance was one of the more attractive benefits they could add. Of course, once you add something, it sticks. (Like the tire excise tax that was instituted during WWII to offset the scarcity of rubber for tires due to the loss of rubber plantations to the Japanese Imperial Army. I'm pretty sure nobody uses actual rubber in tires these days, but that excise tax is still being charged on every tire sold...)

So, in most of our lifetimes, employer-paid health insurance has been normal. But, it wasn't always the case.

Offline r_w

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2015, 09:53:18 AM »
So, they could take a $10k cut in benefits and still be $6k ahead as a worker? Or they want the company to cover the Cadillac tax, which with SS and tax overhead will really be an extra $25-30k cost to the company?


Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2015, 08:15:43 AM »
Maybe a new thread to talk about the strike specifically is in order...

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Re: Dock Workers Strike
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2015, 11:02:46 AM »
Maybe a new thread to talk about the strike specifically is in order...
Done.