More Big Labor-induced misery: The looming port strike

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Michelle Malkin:

I’ve been reporting since September on the potentially catastrophic port strike in the works, and have been tracking the Occupy-supported and manufactured chaos at our ports for the past year.

Things are about to come to a head.

On the West Coast:

The Port of Portland (Oregon) is bracing for a strike by longshore workers on Nov. 25 “that would tie up millions of dollars worth of freight at three terminals.”

Representatives of the Port and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union say the strike could still be averted. But Port officials believe cargo ships may begin bypassing Portland because of the uncertainty created by the failure of last-ditch contract talks Friday.

Separately, owners of Northwest terminals handling a quarter of the nation’s grain exports said Friday they’d presented a final offer to the longshore union. Failure of those talks could lead to a strike or lockout at six grain terminals in Portland, Vancouver and the Puget Sound.

The simultaneous actions are the most extreme developments in months of labor turmoil at the Port, where yet another dispute involving the same union led ships to bypass Portland last summer, clogging cargo and slowing Oregon’s economy. Closure of the three Port terminals, let alone a crisis at the grain elevators, would wreak far greater economic havoc and could cause container shipping lines to pull out for good…

Coincidental breakdown of the security officer talks and the grain negotiations could close a total of seven Portland-area terminals, although the grain elevator owners plan to hire substitute workers — or scabs, in union parlance. In addition, last summer’s separate container terminal dispute is boiling over in the courtroom, as a federal judge ponders whether to find the union in contempt and stop it from allegedly coercing shipping lines.

Port of Portland managers won’t say whether they would bring in workers to replace striking security guards and their fellow longshore union members at terminals 2, 4 and 6. But Port officials are about to contact shipping lines with vessels heading toward Portland and warn them of the problems.

In Oakland, Calif., a strike is planned next Monday and Tuesday. SEIU is leading the way:

Port of Oakland workers who say they have gone 16 months without a new contract plan to go on strike Monday and Tuesday in Oakland. The Service Employees International Union Local 1021 has announced plans for a 24-hour strike starting at 9 p.m. Monday.

On the East Coast and Gulf Coast, companies are re-routing their shipments in anticipation of a long-threatened walkout.

Negotiators had been silent for the past few months, but the ILA is now flexing its muscle publicly:

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

5 Responses to “More Big Labor-induced misery: The looming port strike”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    We’ve been watching the Longshoremen play this anti-progress game for years….decades.
    They want all paperwork handled long-hand!
    Nothing on computers.
    Puts too many of them out of work….supposedly.
    I think the Chinese portion of the Port of Long Beach is handled by non-union foreign workers, but I might be mistaken.
    Seems, when we have had slow-downs, the COSCO (China Shipping) keeps right on on-loading and off-loading those containers while all the other part of the ports are on pause.

  2. 2

    MOS 8541

    When was the last time a longshoremen do anything for you? They drink, gamble, basically lazy and maybe do an honest 1 hrs of work during the day. Butt they voted for the idiot. The wipe house will be empty for the holidays. Maybe a few could stop in for a few days and trash it.

  3. 3

    James Raider

    @Nan G: #1,

    They want all paperwork handled long-hand!

    Automation presents a serious conundrum for union leadership, particularly of the longshoremen kind. Always has been a problem. The reason is really simple, . . . . follow the dollar. Oh, never mind, you can’t.

  4. 5


    Off the subject a little bit, but the story reminded me of how the USA sometimes causes their own problems.. Many years ago a farmer was telling me that he had to buy screeners to make sure he sold only grain to the elevators, but the elevators could add 10% dunnage. They could add anything they wanted: Rocks, rotten grain, etc. The Japanese got tired of it and came over here and bought several grain elevators just so they would get what they were paying for.

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