11. February 2013 09:28
In my December 19, 2012 blog, I reported that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 62 Office Clerical Unit had settled their dispute at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. They have been operating without a contract since June, 2010, and staged an eight-day strike in late November. The major concern was not that the clerks were on strike; rather it was the fear that longshoremen would honor the picket lines during the heavy holiday shipping season. The strike was settled on December 4, however, when union leadership agreed to the terms of a new contract. The agreement provided that there would be no outsourcing of jobs, which had been one of the major concerns of the clerks.
But, last week when the rank and file voted on the new contract, it was rejected. Keep in mind that these clerks perform functions that computers handle at other ports around the world; and with all due respect to the individuals involved, it is not exactly rocket science. Certainly, they should not be taken advantage of, but it is difficult to understand why they would turn down a contract that would raise annual compensation to $195,000, with 11 weeks' vacation, and a pension increase. The major question in my mind however, is not why they turned it down, but how I get one of those jobs.