Friday, February 13, 2015

U.S. West Coast Ports standoff

I'll be honest.  I don't understand what is going on with the labor situation on the U.S. West Coast.

There are allegations that labor has slowed down since Nov. 2014.   Labor has said they didn't slow
down their work, that cargo didn't move due to a chassis shortage, or something along that line.

Now the terminals, or carriers (one never know who is in charge) has decided to teach the union  a lesson,
and has decided to not hire labor to work ships for 4 days, because they would need to pay a lot of extra overtime due to the holidays.   The shipping companies haven't been making money for several years, the daily cost of vessels has decreased immensely due to all the competition, so I guess they are happy to go along with this position.

There is probably something behind all this posturing, but it doesn't seem to be really strategic, more like a couple of kids on the playground not agreeing to work together to get a baseball game going.

News reports say the only sticking point in the contract negotiation is the arbitration clause.  It doesn't make a lot of sense, but neither the union nor the Pacific Maritime Association are putting out anything which really makes a lot of sense.

If anyone has any inside information on what is going on, feel free to share.

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