sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Should a Warehouse Clerk make $190K per year?

These are paid picketers, not the $190K per year clerks, who
don't need to come down to the docks and walk the line while
their strike proceeds.
Of course, I'm referring to the workers belonging to the 800-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit who have been on strike since Nov. 27 against a 14-employer group of shipping lines and terminal owners. The picket lines are being honored by the 10,000 regional members of the ILWU. Add in local truckers, and some 20,000 workers are affected, in the Los Angeles/Long Beach port. (I relied heavily on articles from Michelle Malkin for this blog post)

The strike has shut down 10 of the 14 cargo container terminals at the nation’s busiest seaport complex. The clerical workers had been without a contract since June 30, 2010.

The shutdown is costing $1 billion a day in lost wages and trade while empty ships pile up. The striking union clerk workers rejected a deal that would guarantee their jobs and “bring the average annual OCU wage-and-benefits package to more than $190,000 per year by 2016.”
As one (fat) clerical worker, who was not ambulatory enough to walk the picket line put it -- "$190 thousand isn't enough, I gotta eat!"
Mexico Saves Christmas!

Feliz Navidad!! Shippers are redirecting traffic to Mexico. As the L.A./Long Beach port strike drags on this week, southern California is losing even more business.

The Onion

The OCU [clerical workers' union] enjoy extremely generous paid time off benefits (with average absenteeism from vacation, sick leave, holidays, and other leaves totaling over 29%, or three and one-half months, of the year). In the face of this absenteeism, the OCU demand that when employees are absent, for whatever reason, the employers must call in a temporary employee to fill the vacancy on the first day and for the duration of the vacancy.

Further Demands

• The OCU also insist that the employers hire a new employee every time an employee retires or quits, even if there is no work for the new employee to perform.
• The OCU’s last written proposal before the strike includes an unlawful demand that employers convert some managers to union-represented clerks as a reward for giving the OCU misleading and/or false information that the OCU sought to use against the employers during contract negotiations.
…The OCU are already the highest paid clerical workers in America. The employers’ latest proposals would increase OCU annual compensation packages to over $190,000 in wages and benefits by 2016, including:
• Average annual wages up to approximately $90,000;
• Pensions of up to $75,000 per year;
• Maintenance of all benefits in the OCU’s extremely generous health plan, for which the OCU pay nothing (benefits include, e.g., $0 co-pay for generic drugs; $0 for x-rays, diagnostics, and lab tests; $5 office visit co-pays; 90% coverage for infertility; and more);
• Maintenance of all other employment benefits (an average of 12 weeks of paid time off every year; meal and transportation allowances; early retirement with full benefits; education reimbursement; etc.).


The White House did not respond to a request for comment. I don't think that the Obama Administration with its ties to big labor will be doing much to broker a deal. They are bought and paid for by labor and really don't care much about the management concerns over having to pay each clerk $190K per year, providing that the labor kicks back to the Chicago Presidency. I feel as if I'm 'living in the novel' Atlas Shrugged.
NRF noted that in 2002 a 10-day lockout at West Coast ports led to significant supply chain disruptions, which took six months to remedy, and cost the economy an estimated $1 billion a day.
I'm sure that the Democrats are laughing over business distress over small numbers. A billion dollars a day is NOTHING to the Federal Government.