Taking the long view on ILWU thuggery

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 09, 2011 - LM Editorial

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

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico increased 5.4 percent from May 2013 to May 2014 at $103.9 billion.

With an eye on making transportation of crude oil by rail (CBR) and ethanol safer following various tragic accidents over the last year, the United States Department of Transportation yesterday released details regarding its rulemaking proposal designed to improve how large quantities of flammable materials by rail can be moved in a safer manner.

Getting items ordered online to your home on a same-day basis is as important or relevant as it needs to be, and it depends on things like the type of products being ordered and its relative urgency as well. This was put into better perspective for me during a recent conversation I had with Dr. Victor Allis, CEO of Quintiq, a supply chain vendor specializing in a single optimization and planning platform.

Diesel prices dropped for the third straight week, with the average price per gallon seeing a 2.5 percent decline to $3.869 per gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in June dropped 0.8 percent on the heels of a revised 0.9 percent (from 1.0 percent) increase in May and was up 2.3 percent annually.

Article Topics

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

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers 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. Contact Patrick Burnson

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA