Skip to main content

Ports up and down the East Coast could be shut down beginning Sunday if the region's dockworkers go on strike. A strike looks likely, barring major breakthroughs in contract negotiations that broke off on December 18, but may resume at the behest of a federal mediator. The economic impact would be immense, as the flow of goods into and out of many of the nation's largest ports halted; as a result, business groups are pushing President Barack Obama to get involved in preventing or ending a strike. Steven Greenhouse reports that the key issue over which negotiations broke down is that:
The United States Maritime Alliance, an association of shipping companies and terminal owners, is demanding concessions on “container royalty payments,” which the companies share with union members for each ton of cargo handled. The companies want to freeze those payments for current longshoremen and eliminate them for future hires.

The maritime alliance, known as USMX, says it paid $211 million in container royalties to the longshoremen last year, averaging $15,500 per eligible worker. James A. Capo, the alliance’s chairman, said that came to $10 an hour, on top of what he said were already generous wages.

And everybody knows that skilled workers shouldn't get "generous" wages matching their skill levels and get bonuses reflecting their productivity levels, amiright? That kind of pay is reserved for bankers and executives! Except, wait, those guys get bonuses even when they're not productive, so it's not the same.

It's true that there are a lot of skilled workers out there who don't make the $75,000 plus benefits and royalties that these workers make. But this is another of those moments when, if you stand against the notion that only bankers and executives and a few other privileged workers deserve to make upper-middle-class money, if you stand for the notion that skilled work deserves reward, then you need to be looking at this negotiation and asking not "why are these workers making so much" but "why aren't other skilled workers doing necessary work making anywhere near this much?"

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:23 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  "You Union guys get paid too much" (34+ / 0-)

    "No, you stupid bastard, you don't get paid enough." Been saying it for years

    Just your average every day Autistic hillbilly/biker/activist/union steward with an engineering degree.

    by Mentatmark on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:01:08 AM PST

    •  Race to the bottom due to decades of brainwashing. (15+ / 0-)

      We've become a society where people begrudge each other for the little they do have rather than working to provide more for everyone.

      The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

      by teacherjon on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:03:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This used to be a "Russian" joke: A peasant is (14+ / 0-)
        cutting wood in the ancient forest. He chops down a tree that as it topples, pulls up its roots. There's a flash of light, and a little gnome appears, stretches luxuriously, and looks suspiciously around.

        He sees the peasant, cowering by the trunk of the tree, and in a preternaturally loud voice, asks, "Are you the one who toppled this tree?"

        "Y-y-y-e-s-s, s-s-sir..." said the peasant, fearfully.

        "Well, I owe you a debt. I've been imprisoned in those roots by a witch's spell since the last age. I will grant you one wish, whatever you want."

        "That is most kind of you, sir... May I think about this for a moment?"

        "Surely," says the gnome. "But think about this, too. Whatever I give you, I will give double to your neighbor."

        The peasant, like most of his kind, was on very bad terms with his neighbor. They stole small things from each other, cozied up to the landlord to tell evil tales about each other, and only out of fear of the law had they not come to blows. The peasant thought and thought. Money? A fine house to replace his hovel? Expensive clothes? Something for his wife? (No, not that for sure.)

        The gnome said, "You must decide, I need to get on about my long-delayed business."

        The peasant chewed his lip, pulled on his forelock, palmed his forehead and finally said, "Here is my wish."

        "I await your decision," said the gnome.

        "I wish you will make me blind in one eye."

        "Done," said the gnome, vanishing into the shadows.

        Looks like the freakin' joke is on US.

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:33:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Like that lout (10+ / 0-)

      Tea Partier, during the HCR negotiations, who said, "I pay $800 for my health insurance as an individual subscriber. What is wrong with you people?"

      NO, asshole. What is WRONG with YOU?? Nobody should pay a for-profit health insurance corporation $800 a month, for junk health insurance, anyway.

      Once we can break the spell. Once we can stop people from begrudging each other crumbs...

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:15:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if some vampire capitalist just bought (9+ / 0-)

    into that somewhere?   That is a Bain kind of thing.

    I hate to see the economy hurt more, but this is the kind of thing that is necessary.

    Talk about-I got mine-FU from the bosses...

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:04:43 AM PST

  •  It was you, Terry. I coulda been somethin'. I (0+ / 0-)

    coulda been a contenda.

  •  Any information available on what kind of profits (10+ / 0-)

    and executive compensation the companies of the USMX made recently? I suspect there may be more than a fair bit of hypocrisy being delivered with their complaints of "excessive" worker pay.

    "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will" - Antonio Gramsci

    by ewmorr on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:12:43 AM PST

  •  I don't think being a longshoreman is very steady (11+ / 0-)

    work. People hear an hourly wage, automatically they assume the person is getting it 52 weeks a year. 75000 is probably what they would get for steady employment. I would bet a lot of them don't get that much.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:43:03 PM PST

    •  No boat no work (10+ / 0-)

      my step Dad retired 4 yrs ago  nearly 40 yrs working at Bridgeport and New Haven, never made more than 52k a yr.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:04:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the west coast (can't speak for east coast) (11+ / 0-)

      Longshoremen who are not union members are known as casuals. They get work only if there is so much work available that the union members can't take all the jobs. If they can get enough hours, they will make it into the union on a "B" level basis the next time the union takes in members. If they get enough work, they'll be elvated to "A" book status.

      Basically, it can take a while. Many longies have other jobs because for casuals, the employment is not often steady anymore. Even for A book workers, they aren't getting the hours they did even 10 years ago. I believe the union has eliminated the double back (go back and pick up another job if the first one is finished quickly...a job dropping lashing can be finished quickly, but it's hard, laborious work) in order to spread the work around.

      These are jobs where guys get killed. One of our friends was killed in the harbor a year ago. Steve was crushed by a falling container. He almost made it out of the way. Damn. Still can't believe it. We've known other longies who've been killed down there.

      There's not much of a risk of that for the CEO's who want to gut pensions, payments and wages. Let them put their lives on the line to keep goods moving and see if they are willing to do it for $30/hr plus bennies.

      "An injury to one is an injury to all"

      by jhb90277 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:34:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  RIP Steve (7+ / 0-)

        Played baseball with Steve in college.  It was a punch in the  gut when I got the news that he had died on the job last year.  

        And yeah, can't remember the last time a CEO was killed on the job.  

        Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

        by howd on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:01:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He was a good guy and a hard worker (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          howd, Dirtandiron

          We got the news from another longie friend. We walked around the house for days, just shaking our heads and saying his name. I know a number of guys who worked with him and those who partnered with him say that they never got so many hours ever.

          I don't know if you went to the funeral, but I was amazed at the sheer number of people. 1000 people? Certainly well into the hundreds. Then the sight of all the cranes in the harbor with their booms up to honor him, man oh man.

          You know, longshore deaths are not pretty deaths. Longshore accidents often cripple or kill. People think that these guys are overpaid thugs who don't appreciate what they have.

          Truth is, there are some guys who think they are livin' large. But there are realtors who work the harbor (you probably know exactly who I mean...and he's not the only one), college graduates, businessmen...all types. They work hard in a dangerous job.  

          "An injury to one is an injury to all"

          by jhb90277 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:30:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  When I was younger (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Australian2, Dirtandiron

      there were about 30 % union participation. Now I believe it's about 7%. Starting with Reagan firing the air traffic controller's, and with media brainwashing people against unions, we as a nation in terrible shape. This why we need an FDR type president. Obama would never fight for the unions even know they are the main reason he won. Let him prove me wrong. So far not a peep in 4 years.

      "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between" Oscar Wilde

      by angry hopeful liberal on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:39:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Consistency? Did the President involve the Admin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the West Coast port issue?


    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:09:32 PM PST

  •  This is what the great recession is all about. (5+ / 0-)

    Those pesky unions (especially longshoremen) are just killing them ("them" being multinational corporations “who” control virtually all world governments). Creating US jobs is the exact opposite of the (global) establishment agenda.

  •  It's always been weird to me (21+ / 0-)

    how there are people who don't blink an eye at a corporate middle-manager getting six figures, yet they seem positively OFFENDED if someone who does physical work makes half as much.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:12:18 PM PST

  •  Look at the structure of the deal the bosses (7+ / 0-)

    are trying to upend.  It sounds to me like the longshoreman negotiated a good deal and the bosses want to break it.

    The longshoreman get paid per container on top of their hourly wage.  Some smart union leader negotiated a "copyright" or "license" fee as a hedge against automation.  Undoubtedly, the union had some leverage to be able threaten a large enough short term impact that the bosses would trade off a long term benefit.

    As the way the contract is described above, even if the union were to lose all jobs at the docks, everyone would still get paid, $10 an hour due to the container fee.

    Smart union that.  Hang tough brothers.

    the fact that you're right is nothing more than interesting

    by Egg on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:26:24 PM PST

  •  numbers don't add up (6+ / 0-)

    15,500 at 40 hours per week and 52 weeks comes to 7.45 hr. Not 10.00

    And why is there never any mention of what the workers make.

    What exactly is "generous wages."

    As mentioned in the comments, how much does management make?

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:29:15 PM PST

  •  American workers making a living wage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, howd, Dirtandiron

    and the only way that would happen is if corporations worked with labor but they only care about is the bottom line.  Profit at any cost these days with lower wages and moving production of products out of the country.  That is now the American way.

    Do not adjust your mind, there is a flaw in reality.

    by Shrew in Shrewsbury on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:30:25 PM PST

  •  Sketchy (0+ / 0-)

    It should at least be pointed out that those so-called royalty payments are remnants of extorted payoffs from the move to containers in the first place over 40 years ago.
    "The container payments were created in the 1960s to compensate the longshoremen as ports embraced automation and the use of standardized, 40-foot-long containers to ship goods. That caused a big decrease in jobs and working hours. Employment of longshoremen in the Port of New York and New Jersey has dropped to 3,500 from 35,000 in the 1960s."

    Basically, they're paying the current generation of not particularly "skilled workers" a sizeable unearned bonus that has grown enormously per worker as the number of longshoremen has declined radically. It's kinda like supporting the grandchildren of the horse buggy builders with a tax on today's automobiles [see: featherbedding].

    •  The NYT article describes tham as indeed skilled. (5+ / 0-)

      not "not particularly "skilled workers" " as you suggested.

      •  I hung around warehouses (0+ / 0-)

        and longshoremen virtually my entire life, from watching break bulk loading and unloading on the NYC piers in the late 50s to containerized shipping at Port Elizabeth until just a couple of years ago. I stand by my original characterization—not a great amount of skilled longshoring going on (although there is some).

        •  I have never been a longshoreman (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But, I have run cranes, and I know some of the cranes they use to unload bulk materials with a clam bucket are not that easy to operate. Live boom (i.e. boom can fall if you don't know what you're doing) working in a blind, sitting on a barge that is rocking in the water. I would like to see you do that, then you can tell me how "unskillled" they are.

          Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

          by Dirtandiron on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:55:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Numbers (0+ / 0-)

            I talked about the cranes in a separate post. But the bottom line is that possibly 3 or 4% of longshoremen do this kind of skilled work. The existence if such men with such skills does not transform longshoring generally in a skilled profession.

    •  It says they are highly skilled and difficult to (5+ / 0-)

      replace right in your linked article.

      I stand behind the union members.  Big business has been demanding that we all get subsistence wages and just as rising waters raise all boats, so lowered expectations undercut everyone.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:54:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  high skills and low expectations (0+ / 0-)

        Most of what is required is a strong back. It can be hard work, but semi-skilled is about the most you could claim. Maybe one guy in five is capable of stacking pallets with a forklift. Maybe one in eight understands how to safely load a boxcar or container. And some tiny minority can load and unload containers from rail cars and ocean vessels. And an even tinier minority of folks are NY Times reporters with even the faintest nodding acquaintance with the piers and warehouses.

    •  Unearned Bonus (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1, Dirtandiron, Egg

      If your worried about unearned bonuses, I suggest you start at the top and then work your way down the longshoremen.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:14:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I guess it is a matter of perspective. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't think it is sketchy. I think it is the true meaning of trickle down, had any of the "job creators" really been genuine.
      Business owners should be extremely grateful that they landed in a position to employ people to create wealth for them. The more wealth employees create, the more it should trickle down.
      Why is that so hard?

  •  What is "Freezing" a payment? (0+ / 0-)

    Keeping it at the current rate?

  •  Trade (0+ / 0-)

    It's a bit ironic that the same people who want to keep good high paying jobs for longshoremen are trying desperately to drastically reduce our foreign trade and eliminate those jobs.  These two things do go together.

  •  Capo's "generous wage" comment reminds me of the (4+ / 0-)

    crap that scumbag from wal-mart was trying to shove down everyone's throat during their strike.

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:46:39 PM PST

  •  Two different but related questions. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, Sychotic1

    The "are dock-workers worth this much" question  goes hand-in-hand with the "are executives worth this much" question.

    It's always a fair question.

    The answer, however, isn't as simple as saying "gee, other laborers would kill for these jobs and don't make nearly as much."

    Henry Ford knew that back in 1913 when he started paying many of his factory workers $5 a day, which was more than twice the going rate and created a new category of middle class workers.

    People are worth what you're willing to pay them, and what you're willing to pay them presumes that you make money from what they do.

    Given the degree of mechanization and containerization, I'd bet those dockworkers are pretty well leveraged.  I suspect the story is a lot like Ford's old assembly line:  cheaper to pay for good workers than for slowed production.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:50:16 PM PST

    •  They want it both ways (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, agincour, Dirtandiron

      highly efficient workers paid minimum wage.  

      States' rights? Corporate rights? Militia rights? Government rights? Hell no! Only individuals have rights. Proud lifelong human supremacist.

      by happymisanthropy on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:11:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not impossible to do without them. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Dirtandiron

      You're absolutely right. When you're talking about one guy operating a +$3mil piece of equipment, you pay him whatever's required to get the maximum productivity. This is especially true during the build-up to Christmas, when the ports are all operating near 100% of capacity.

      Furthermore, these "over-paid" workers are so efficient that they've already shifted the expectations of the entire supply chain. Even if you could replace them for free, the loss of productivity would be so great as to cause escalating supply chain failures. Imagine your favorite freeway during rush hour, now close over half the lanes. That's the "no problem" scenario in which  scabs replace longshoremen. I would expect much worse.

      Groups: Toolbox and Trolls... to preserve the best & the worst of DailyKos.

      by opendna on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:10:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The machines they use are labor-saving devices (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        One person can move many tons of cargo. So the labor costs can't be that high. Not relative to before they had containers.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:58:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The labor costs are lower per unit of cargo, even if they're higher per unit of labor. They're labor saving devices, but the system has adjusted to the new productivity so that it's now impossible to revert back to the old mode. If the ports could no longer move containers it would be a terrible shock to the global economy.

          Groups: Toolbox and Trolls... to preserve the best & the worst of DailyKos.

          by opendna on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:37:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I hope President Obama remembers that in the (4+ / 0-)

    1930s, President Roosevelt was ENCOURAGED to push forward with the New Deal, at least in part, because of sustained (and spreading) strikes on the part of Railroad workers (moving goods and passengers), Auto workers (building the cars which were already moving the nation), Textile workers (in an era when Made in the USA was to be found in more clothing than not across the globe) and Longshoremen (who move every item of imported goods which enters These United States).

    Because the social unrest which these strikes were evidence of, was enough (in that era) to put FEAR into the hearts of the political class and the then obscenely wealthy class of a possible national uprising of the Working Class.

    Which could have torn the nation asunder, in a different but no less violent a fashion as the Civil War had nearly done in the 1860s.

    This is a big fucking deal, when it comes to Working Class vs the Wealthy Class, and could contain the seeds of serious trouble, if an accommodation is not reached in short order.

    Without working Longshoremen and 18-wheel Truck drivers - this entire nation comes to a shrieking halt within five days.

    Why 5 days?

    That is the maximum amount of days the nation's grocery stores could provide food supplies to consumers without additional stores coming in by 18 wheel truckloads.

    Which get all of their supplies from either Railroad cars (internal US products shipped cross-country) or Shipboard container cars (imports at US ports of call).

    So, you shut down the ports and you shut down America.

    I am in Solidarity with these striking Union Longshoremen.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:01:11 PM PST

  •  a $10/hr royalty is $20k per year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (assuming a 50 week, 40 hour/week year)

    So these royalties are themselves more than a minimum wage worker earns through the course of a year.

    I can see why both sides would be digging in their heels, and though I'd never take management's side in a labor issue, it's also somewhat troubling that one segment of the blue collar workforce would be earning $75k + $20k = $95k while the minimum wage segment of the blue collar workforce earns $18k/year.

    •  amended to include the word 'potential' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      having read upthread comments, want to acknowledge that the 40hr/wk * 50wk/year assumption may not be met.

    •  This particular blue collar work is special. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, WI Deadhead

      Among the reasons that the ILWU remains a strong union is that (a) they can't be outsourced, and (b) they can't be replaced.

      Once upon a time, they brought in the National Guard to do the work while the ILWU was on strike. It was a disaster. Turns out that these guys are so fast, so efficient and so skilled that you really can't replace them with other humans without throwing the whole system into complete meltdown. Better to just stop work. You can replace them with robots but, you know... capital investment ain't exactly all the rage.

      Groups: Toolbox and Trolls... to preserve the best & the worst of DailyKos.

      by opendna on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:47:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  this gets back to my point about unions (0+ / 0-)

      playing defense.

      they'll shut down east coast flow of goods, meanwhile LOTS of people need help organizing and they aren't getting that help.

      or I never hear about it.

      people see this and think "what's a union done for me lately ?".

      it's like the unions try to create lousy PR.

      big badda boom : GRB 090423

      by squarewheel on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:49:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reason Enough For President Obama To Stay Out Of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, agincour

    it - Rick Scott.

    Florida's Republican governor wants President Barack Obama to invoke federal law and order a cooling-off period if nearly 15,000 longshoremen walk off the job in a looming strike that would be a big blow to the state's economy, according to a letter he sent the president this week.
    "The threat to national safety and security that would result from mass closure of ports cannot be overstated," Scott told Obama.
    "The Taft-Hartley Act provides your administration with tools that can help avoid this threat," Scott said. "On behalf of the State of Florida, I respectfully request that you invoke the act when the contract ... expires at the end of the month."
    Scott must have choked on the word "respectfully."
  •  $211 Million doesn't sound like much... (4+ / 0-)

    considering the quantity of containers they handle.

    Is this so Walmart can shave 1 or 2 cents off the cost of an item?

  •  Audio from Port of Oakland Shutdown 1 Year Ago (0+ / 0-)
  •  Once again, the plutocrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead

    play the old "divide & conquer" game.

    Upton Sinclair was prescient when he described your typical capital owner in his books - they keep 95% of the cream for themselves, and make the workers fight over the remainder by pointing out first one, then another that has slightly more of the last 5%.

    Maybe this time the American public won't fall for it?

    Not terribly likely.

  •  BREAKING - Strike Averted - for now. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead
    WASHINGTON, D.C. 20427

    Friday, December 28, 2012                                                                        Contact: John Arnold

    For Immediate Release                                                                              Director of Public Affairs

    Web site:                                                                            Phone: (202) 606-8100

    Statement by FMCS Director George H. Cohen On United States Maritime Alliance

    And International Longshoremen’s Association Labor Negotiations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — “I am extremely pleased to announce that the parties have reached
    the agreements set forth below as a result of a mediation session conducted by myself and my
    colleague Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director for Mediation Services, on Thursday, December
    27, 2012:

    “The container royalty payment issue has been agreed upon in principle by the parties, subject to
    achieving an overall collective bargaining agreement. The parties have further agreed to an
    additional extension of 30 days (i.e., until midnight, January 28, 2013) during which time the
    parties shall negotiate all remaining outstanding Master Agreement issues, including those
    relating to New York and New Jersey. The negotiation schedule shall be set by the FMCS after
    consultation with the parties.”

    “Given that negotiations will be continuing and consistent with the Agency’s commitment of
    confidentiality to the parties, FMCS shall not disclose the substance of the container royalty
    payment agreement. What I can report is that the agreement on this important subject represents
    a major positive step toward achieving an overall collective bargaining agreement. While some
    significant issues remain in contention, I am cautiously optimistic that they can be resolved in the
    upcoming 30-day extension period.”

    “On behalf of our Agency, I want to thank the parties, especially ILA President Harold Daggett
    and USMX Chairman & CEO James Capo, for their ongoing adherence to the collective
    bargaining process, which has enabled them to avoid the imminent deadline for a work stoppage
    that could have economically disruptive nationwide implications.”

     The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, created in 1947, is an independent U.S. government
    agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation.
    Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 10 district offices and 67 field offices, the agency provides
    mediation and conflict resolution services to industry, government agencies and communities.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site