Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Taking the long view on ILWU thuggery

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 09, 2011

Organized labor is showing bad faith with its blatant disregard for law and property at the The Port of Long View this week.

In direct defiance of a court order, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have been wreaking havoc at the port by wrecking trains and vandalizing offices. There have even been reports of longshoremen holding port security officers as hostages.

With wildcat strikes threatening neighboring ports of Tacoma and Seattle, shippers may already be reconfiguring their supply chains in anticipation of prolonged union actions spreading down the West Coast.

At issue here is the ILWU’s objection to another union engaged by the owner of a new grain terminal in Longview — EGT Development. For very sound business reasons, the ILWU was bypassed in favor of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701 in Gladstone, Oregon.

How’s this for “worker” solidarity?

A similar case can be made when examining the Teamsters Union’s resistance at other West Coast ocean cargo gateways to sharing port drayage with independent owner-operators. No violence has ensued (yet) over that particular issue, but it points to a longer view shippers may be taking on ocean carriage options.

As the expansion of the Panama Canal moves on schedule toward its 2014 deadline, major multinational manufacturers are already rethinking their shipping and sourcing strategies. For a variety of reasons, West Coast ports are not nearly as attractive as they once were.

This latest episode of union thuggery may well be viewed by labor historians as a defining moment for all U.S. seaports. As engines of economic growth and prosperity, they must function efficiently with a skilled and dedicated workforce. Is the ILWU the only union capable of providing such professionals? The answer is clearly, no.

About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

A mixed bag may be the most appropriate way to characterize the current state of manufacturing based on the most recent edition of the April edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business issued by the Institute for Supply Management today.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (FRA) issued its long-awaited Final Rulemaking for “Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains.”

U.S. carloads were down 1.6 percent at 278,294 carloads, and intermodal volume was up 5.6 percent at 279,0123 containers and trailers.

Even though the immediate prospects of a long-term federal surface transportation authorization remain dim, various media reports suggest that at least short-term help could be on the way.

For anyone not sold on the ongoing impacts of e-commerce on logistics and supply chain operations, comments by some influential industry executives at the recent National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) Conference and Transportation Expo definitely would help change that train of thought.

Article Topics

Blogs · Ocean Freight · Global · Ocean Cargo · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA