December 4, 2012
About 800 clerical workers based at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports find themselves in a position to wreak havoc on the economy of Southern California. Members of a local unit of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, they have gone on strike against the shipping companies that employ them, shutting down most of the cargo terminals at the two ports. The dispute epitomizes the issues confronted by organized labor in a globally connected world: The union is fighting to hold onto jobs that are increasingly threatened by automation and the Internet.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2008 |
A 73-year-old dockworker was killed Friday after being run over by a forklift as he was helping unhook cargo from a ship at the Port of Long Beach, officials said. Carlos Rivera of Wilmington had worked on the waterfront for more than 40 years. "This is a man with considerable experience," said John Showalter, spokesman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. "This affirms the fact that the docks are a dangerous place to work." The California United Terminal, where the 11 a.m. accident occurred, ordered cargo handling halted for 24 hours.
October 1, 2002
By locking out the longshoremen not once but twice (after publicly threatening to do so several times), management has made it clear that it never intended to sit down at the table with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and bargain in good faith (Sept. 30). Rather, its plan all along has been to get the federal government involved in these negotiations in the hope that the feds could succeed in pulling off what it (the Pacific Maritime Assn.) has been unable to do, i.e., break the longshoremen's union.
October 20, 2002
Whereas business monopolies are dangerous to the economy of the country, so are union monopolies ["Dispute Shows a Union Firmly Anchored at West Coast Ports," Oct. 13]. The dockworkers plainly have a monopoly on the West Coast that can be devastating to the U.S. economy. Unions have a right to apply economic pressure on their employers but not on individuals and businesses that have no voice in their demands. Legislation should be passed that places unions on an equal footing with anti-trust laws on business.
October 3, 2002
Re "Stage Set for More Port Labor Strife," Sept. 29: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union fears that computers might replace some of its union brethren in the buggy-whip department, so it stages a work slowdown? This is precisely what's wrong with organized labor today: The painters union fears its members may become more productive with wider brushes, or the construction workers union fears its members may become more efficient with heavier hammers. Sheesh. The stevedoring companies would do well by offering these jobs outside at half the $80,000 union wage.
July 3, 2008 |
West Coast port workers may resort to work slowdowns as contract negotiations extend past Tuesday's deadline, a Wolfe Research analyst said Wednesday. Such actions may be "in the near term," Ed Wolfe, the New York analyst, said in a report to investors. He didn't say why he believed they might occur. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Assn., which represents port terminal operators, have been trying to avoid a strike like the one that idled the cargo entry points for 10 days in 2002.