How the dockworker unions are robbing the country

From:, by: Jazz Shaw, posted on February 22, 2015, read the full article HERE.


West coast dock - ships unloadingThere’s a very solid opinion piece at USA Today this week which speaks to the recent work slowdown (we don’t want to say “strike” I suppose) on west coast docks by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). They are in the midst of a new round of contract negotiations and have tied up the flow of goods in some of the nation’s busiest ports to “leverage” their bargaining position. This has not been just some minor inconvenience. Honda is cutting back production (and work hours) due to a lack of parts. Your favorite cuts of steak aren’t making it to the table. Retailers ran out of product in a variety of areas. This is serious economic damage at a time when the nation can ill afford it.

So just how badly do these workers need the extra pound of flesh they are demanding? Let’s just say they aren’t exactly suffering under the status quo.

Barring a complete shutdown or lockout, it does not look as though the slowdown will be enough to derail the economy as a whole. Nonetheless, it is having a considerable impact on workers whose jobs and income rely on imports and exports, and who are wondering what they did to deserve their fates.

These people would be even more distressed if they knew the port workers’ income. The Pacific Maritime Association, manager of the ports, says an average full-time worker makes $147,000 a year, with very generous benefits on top of that.

The ILWU says longshoremen aren’t always able to work as many hours as they’d like, putting a typical income at $83,000.

Even if the truth lies somewhere in between, the longshoremen who are causing so much grief to workers and businesses around the country are among the nation’s best-paid blue-collar workers.

Dock work isn’t easy and the men and women who do it certainly deserve to be compensated for their labors. But even living on the west coast, are these really the types of jobs where averaging a six figure salary is so poor that you need to shut down the flow of commerce? If you asked the average worker around the country, I’m fairly sure that 90% of them would offer up a limb to be making that kind of money for a job that doesn’t require a sheepskin from an Ivy League school.

But it’s not the workers at fault. Once again, it’s the unions, and their tactics are the typical scorched Earth policies we see time and time again. The offer currently on the table is a 14% increase in pay over five years combined with other benefits and incentives. That’s a guaranteed raise of nearly 3% per year for half a decade. In this economy, how many of you have seen years go by with no raise at all, or a pittance of an increase which would make 3% look fairly attractive? Combined with the pensions and other goodies, this is a dream package for most people.

And yet there has been this fit of pique taking place at the ports which affects everyone. And again… this is a slowdown we’re talking about. The op-ed above correctly refers to it as a “strike with pay.” The workers are still collecting their regular paychecks while essentially choking off the flow of commerce and capitalism. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for this which comes to mind. The unions are so massive and control such a broad swath of vital economic infrastructure that they can essentially hold a gun to everyone’s heads and get away with it.


AN UPDATE: A group of shipping companies and a powerful dockworkers union clinched a tentative labor deal on Friday after nine months of negotiations, settling a dispute that disrupted the flow of cargo through 29 U.S. West Coast ports and snarled trans-Pacific maritime trade with Asia. The settlement, confirmed in a joint statement by the two sides, was reached three days after U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday to broker a deal with the help of a federal mediator who had joined in the talks six weeks earlier. In a conference call with reporters following the agreement, Perez said he also had put leaders from both sides on notice that unless they came to terms swiftly they would be ….

“summoned to Washington to continue their negotiations at the White House.” 

OMG! Not that! Anything but that!


So now we know the truth, merely introducing Obama’s name into the discussions threw the Fear Of Obama (FOO) into the two parties. Bringing him into the impasse is what finally caused both parties to relent and come to an agreement. Neither party wanted the fire-breathing ogre that is Barack Obama threatening them with a line in the sand, a blessing down, or a strongly worded letter. He will now take credit for bringing the strike to a close through his superhuman negotiating skills. Good luck with  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, he may not be as easy.




Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to How the dockworker unions are robbing the country

  1. tiretramp says:

    I hate UNIONS. Not one is worth spit.


    • Garnet92 says:

      Chalk up another anti-union vote here, Skip!

    • upaces88 says:

      “IN THE BEGINNING of Unions way way years ago…in the coal mines”…Unions were needed for safety reason for dangerous jobs.

      When I was an intern at Garland Texas Community Hospital, there was a very, very old lady who was in her death bed.

      She talked about the past. Her father worked in the coal mines. So many, many men were getting very sick and even died because the coal mines just weren’t safe.

      She was holding her Daddy’s hand and striking with him while there was ice on the ground. They just wanted cleaner conditions.

      NOW? Who needs them!! There are now so many safety regulations in place, Unions are NO LONGER .NEEDED,

      She was the most impressive old lady I have ever met….such a long, long time ago, and she still remembered it vividly.

      I worked for the City of Dallas at one time. They asked me to sit on the Board for the Union. Lord! I couldn’t imagine why because I am SO AGAINST UNIONS.

      LOL….I last two weeks then I got kicked out. Why?
      The City of Dallas was a great place to work but those union people were like soiled children.
      A man stood before me at the bench. HE gave me his story. He was whining he couldn’t have more days off with pay.I can’t remember now, but Lord! Those union people had sick days, funeral days due a relative being buried. Then you have an ‘X amount of day” off for??????

      He FREE days off with pay had ended and he was whining. The bottom line?
      I judged against him mainly because he had used up all of his “pay-day-off days”.

      Can you believe this! I was fired and called . Yes!! LOL

  2. Hardnox says:

    Good grief. These panty waist whiners have gone beyond their best buy date. The rest of America is suffering and they are on strike. $2 says that it was King Putt that got them to strike in the first place. Ditto with the Steelworks that run the refineries.

    • Garnet92 says:

      The last six years have proven that we shouldn’t sell Obama short, he is capable of doing the unthinkable to advance his anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-capitalism agenda. Could be that he instigated the strike just so he could “negotiate” an end to it.

  3. Kathy says:

    Aside from government employees, union workers are the only people I know that can get paid not to work.

    No doubt the FOO had them quaking in their boots, so they scurried back to the negotiating table – for now. This will happen again at some point because they know they have the leverage.

    • Garnet92 says:

      An astute statement Kathy. The unions are especially powerful now since they not only have the power of the strike, but they’ve bought and paid for Obama to act as their enforcer. He’ll do their bidding or else the democrats will lose a ton of political contributions.

  4. Rich B says:

    Living here is San Pedro (AKA L.A. Harbor District) I see the local ILWU 13 pull this same shit about every eight or ten years. The longshoreman are spoiled brats and childish babies. They have a pay and benefit package that makes most Doctors jealous.

    I keep reading that the PMA is financing the building of a deep-water port in Ensenada Mexico and that the jobs will eventually end out South of the border. Well if and when that happens the locals will only have themselves to blame. Piss on em. As far as I’m concerned they have talked themselves out of their jobs. They’re doing work a chimp could be trained to do… and I’m not kidding. It’s total manual labor demanding very little skill or brains, with the exception of the crane mechanics.

    And BTW, most of the longshoremen I know (and I know quite a few) are drunks and druggies… for what it’s worth. If I posted this rant in the local news-rag, The Torrance Daily Breeze, I’d have two broken legs by the end of this week. That’s the way the ILWU operates.

    • I.R. Wayright says:

      If you could go back in time to the 1950s and pick through some old Reader’s Digest magazines, you will find articles about the longshoremen and teamsters union strikes. They are still using the same tactics of intimidation they did back then.

      • Garnet92 says:

        Right I.R., it’s the “old strength in numbers” and now the gays and the racist blacks are using the same tactics as the unions to get their way. The problem is that WE (those who don’t agree) are not organized. If we were to be organized under one leadership … oh wait, we are … we’re led by the Republicans … hapless, feckless, incompetent, and weak.

        We might as well give up … either that or elect a REAL leader for our side. We will have that chance in 2016, we better not screw it up.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Thanks for that personal report, Rich. It sounds like they’re pulling a “Detroit” on the West coast docks. They’ll price themselves out of the market, shippers will go to cheaper ports, and L.A. will have to make an amusement park out of the cranes left at the empty port facilities.

      And you’re reinforcing my experience with union goons, breaking something is their way of getting your attention. It’s too bad, but we all know that they’re not going to change their tactics – Detroit didn’t and look at what it got them.

    • captbogus2 says:

      “Well if and when that happens the locals will only have themselves to blame.”
      Happened before.
      Why do you think Toyota, Datsun and Volkswagen became so popular in America, the land of GM, Ford and Chrysler?
      Because the unions priced the American cars out of the market.

  5. CW says:

    Unions facilitate theft. It’s that simple. Anyone who doesn’t believe this can have a live demonstration to prove that it’s true when I come to their house and physically bar any babysitters, plumbers, lawn workers, pool cleaners, or other workers from performing services for them until they agree to pay twice the going rate. Maybe when the shoe is on the other foot they’ll see how ugly it really is.

    I don’t understand what gives Obama or his minions the authority to “summon” private citizens to the WH. When I looked into it just now the details of the deal brokered by the Obama minion were “unavailable” but I have no doubt that it was favorable to the unions and the negotiator for the shipping companies knew that they would be strong-armed into caving to the unions so why prolong it.

    • Garnet92 says:

      You’ve got it CW, but the general public won’t pay attention until many things that they want are “out of stock” because of a union strike, and the unions will generally stop just short of pissing off John Q. Public. As long as they’re under the radar, they can press the employer (in this case, the shippers) as hard as they want.

      And I agree that the shippers didn’t want it to go to the White House for a simple reason: Obama=unions and unions=Obama.

      • I.R. Wayright says:

        Maybe it would be a good idea just to see how well we could get along without any imports. We used to be able to grow, build or produce everything we need right here in the good old USA. Of course, that was before the unions priced us all out of business.

  6. Clyde says:

    Good piece. The deep water port at Ensenada is a REALITY. It is said this port will cut an Asian, and Chinese ship’s turnaround time by a week, at least. The port is set to open sometime this year, IIRC. Then, the containers from the ships will go on rails to a HUGE facility near Kansas City, then out to the rest of the country, via U.S trains and trucks. The U.S. DOT had a cross-border trucking program aimed at trucks doing a LOT of this work, but the idea fizzled as the gangs were hijacking these trucks daily, and U.S. based carriers had a TON of trouble getting truckers to go there in the first place. As for the longshoremen, it is going to suck to be a left coast dockworker in about 2 or 3 years.

    • captbogus2 says:

      Clyde, did the Mexicans change their narrow gage railroads to be compatible with ours?

      • Clyde says:

        I believe they are on the main lines running out of Ensenada to Laredo, Cap. I haven’t read anything about Mexico dropping the trains at Laredo for a U.S. railroad to continue on to K.C.