Saturday, June 16, 2012

The costs of unions - Longshoremen in Portland, Oregon

In Portland the longshoremen in International Longshore and Warehouse Union are preventing the movement of shipments in a fight with another union. Trucks are lined up for a mile. And businesses large and small are forced to pay storage for shipments they need to service their customers.

Someone remind me of how good unions are for our economy.

Many people are afraid to say anything about the situation due to fear of the longshoremen. What might they do? OregonLive

Lawyers for the Pacific Maritime Association weren't commenting Thursday. Nor were officers of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, whose members have plugged and unplugged reefers at the port for many years.

Nor was the Portland manager of the Hanjin steamship line, the South Korean cargo carrier whose ship is due via Seattle. Nor was the Portland manager of the National Labor Relations Board.

And nor were certain truckers, factory managers and representatives of other businesses caught in the chaos. They said they feared retribution from longshoremen.

This is over the equivalent of two jobs plugging and unplugging the electrical power for cold storage containers, a job that the Electrical Works union has done for years.

So far only one ship has cancelled its stop in Portland and gone to Oakland to offload its cargo. But there will be more unless the bullies win right now.

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