Friday, November 12, 2010

ILA makes threats to keep jobs

The ocean carriers have made moves to get rid of providing chassis in the U.S., as this is the only country in the world (that I know of), where the carrier supplies the chassis.

This has upset the ILA in NY/NJ as it will move the responsibility of the chassis maintenance (I guess) from the carrier to the truckers, or another company, which is not obligated to use the ILA.

Kinda like what happened when the ILA lost the business of loading cargo into containers. The ILA is not competitive, and if someone can find a cheaper way to do it, the business goes elsewhere.

From The Journal of Commerce.

International Longshoremen’s Association official Harold Daggett said he’s ready for “war” with container lines transferring intermodal chassis service to companies outside the union’s coastwide master contract.

“They’ve declared war with me and I’m going after all of them,” Daggett said in an interview Tuesday.

“There’s going to be a war here. I’m going to take on all of these lines that say they’re getting rid of the chassis,” he said. “If they think they’re going to create a European situation where they’re getting out of the chassis business, it’s not going to happen, not on my watch.”

He said the ILA may seek fines of $2,000 per container against carriers it claims are violating the union contract. He said the ILA also may conduct “thorough, thorough inspections” of boxes placed on chassis of companies that haven’t signed the contract.

So, he makes his threats, known and also implied (if anyone with experience working in NY/NJ, you know what an "implied" threat is from the ILA.... you might be wearing concrete shoes very soon).

And more from Daggett

“This is not a slowdown I’m talking about. We’re just going to show them we have the right to inspect these containers so that they’re safe for the highways,” Daggett told The Journal of Commerce.

“I’m not threatening anybody but this is our work and our jobs, this is our livelihood and I will fight for every member of the ILA to protect our jobs. That’s what they elected me for.”

So, if this isn't a threat, what is it?

This is who is will be coming after.

Daggett said any ILA action would be aimed only at carriers that have shifted chassis maintenance and repair to companies that haven’t signed the ILA contract. Leasing companies and chassis pool operators use ILA labor in New York-New Jersey and other ports but can hire non-ILA labor elsewhere because they aren’t part of the coastwide contract signed by carriers.

Maybe the Waterfront Commission will look into this.

Someone needs to inform the ILA that the way to keep jobs is by learning be do it better, and cheaper, than someone else.

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