Skip to comments.Port Strike Enters 8th Day Despite Mayor’s Mediation
Posted on 12/04/2012 9:01:59 AM PST by BenLurkin
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) The strike at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach entered its eighth day Tuesday, despite a late-night meeting held by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and both sides of the picket line.
The Mayor returned from a planned trade mission to South America Monday night because of the strike. He went straight to the bargaining table at 11 p.m. and continued to be a part of negotiations early Tuesday morning.
Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the two sides are likely closing in on a deal to end the strike.
Mayor Villaraigosa has a good track record of helping to settle very tough labor disputes, so Im glad hes there, Hahn said. Ive been on the phone with some of the negotiators this morning, and I understand they are close to a deal.
Over the weekend he called for labor and management to start bargaining around the clock with the assistance of a federal or other mediator until an agreement is reached.
The walkout, which began on Nov. 27, has dramatically slowed activity at the nations busiest cargo complex as dockworkers refuse to cross picket lines set up by union clerical workers.
Officials estimate the strike is costing the U.S. economy $1 billion per day.
Talks between shippers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which started over the weekend, continued throughout the night, but no deal has been reached.
The clerical workers have been without a contract since June 2010.
The union contends that terminal operators have outsourced local clerical jobs. The shippers deny the allegation and say they have offered lifelong job security to the 600 or so full-time clerical workers.
The strike is the largest work stoppage at the ports since shipping companies locked workers out for 10 days in 2002.
According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the President is also said to be watching the strike closely.
Ive briefed the White House on this issue . Were very concerned and hope that people can understand the urgency we need to have here, Mayor Villaraigosa said.
RELATED STORY: Strike At Southland Ports Reportedly Costing $1 Billion A Day
More likely because Tony Vilar is a clown.
Twinkie the whole bunch of overpaid paper pushers, they can go to the new deep water port in Ensenada, where they don’t have Union Thugs, just the CIA (Drug Cartels) offering huge amounts of CASH
Sounds like good news . . .
. . . for the Port of Houston.
The clerks on strike make something like 200K a year with benefits included. These unions are insanely out of control and are bankrupting the state. How many ore CA cities are going to file for bankruptcy? The state is equally bankrupt. Unions are crazy and should be outlawed.
Remember that strikers are called Twinkies now
I believe I heard that those clerical workers make 85K/yr.. It didn’t break down whether that was salry+benefits, though. Unions are amking a go for broke sine the election. Reeks.
“Sounds like good news . . .
. . . for the Port of Houston.”
And how’s that? Take a look at the geographics. And go look at the size of the two ports ( Long Beach and LA), and then look at the size of the container ships that ply between those ports and the Far East. Most of the wouldn’t even fit through the Panama Canal! Don’t think Houston would be a player for much of it.
When looking at the photos I thought there were some that looked like HO HO’S in the pickets.
“According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the P-resident is also said to be watching the strike closely.”
Is Obama watching more or less as closely as he did with Benghazi ?
**WHO in the hell gave the damn order to NOT rescue our men in Benghazi?**
Let them eat Twinkies....
“And hows that? Take a look at the geographics. And go look at the size of the two ports ( Long Beach and LA), and then look at the size of the container ships that ply between those ports and the Far East. Most of the wouldnt even fit through the Panama Canal! Dont think Houston would be a player for much of it.”
1. The Panama Canal is being enlarged to take those types of ships.
2. Port of Houston is non-union, while Long Beach and LA are unionized.
3. Shipping goods by sea is cheaper than shipping by rail. Even accounting for the extra distance at sea, the total cost transportation is likely a wash when sending goods anywhere but the West Coast or the states bordering them.
4. Cutting California out of the shipping loop entirely eliminates significant costs associated with taxes and regulation unique to California.
In other words, it is not just the immediate impact of the strike, it is the signal it sends. I’d say Houston can compete with any California port for the Pacific trade, and the expansion of the port in anticipation of the enlarging of the Canal means I am not the only one that believes that.
Who among us believes that Holder will invoke Taft-Hartley? Anyone? Anyone??
But the Panama Canal cannot NOW take the size of container ship that plys between the FE and the West Coast, and the strike is going on now.
But putting that aside, the container port being built in Ensenada, Mexico will trump both LA and Houston. Because “you don’t got to have no steeking unions in Mexico!” Plus now with NAFTA, the beaner trucking firms will get the business to haul the containers to their final destinations in the US. As sad as this is, it kills two unions with one blow, the Longshoremen and the Teamsters. Maybe if Houston is lucky, they will get some crumbs, because if Ensenada works out, you can bet the Mexicans next step will to be to build another container port on their east coast near the Texas border.
“Maybe if Houston is lucky, they will get some crumbs, because if Ensenada works out, you can bet the Mexicans next step will to be to build another container port on their east coast near the Texas border.”
And where, exactly will Mexico build this container port? Vera Cruz? Pretty far south. Across from Brownsville? Poor harbor, and inadequately sheltered.
Houston has the best port location on the Gulf Coast, except possibly New Orleans and the lower Mississippi. And Houston has better intermodal connections than NOLA. For that matter, it has better intermodal connections than any Mexican port, including Ensendada. Throw in that Mexican corruption makes California regulation and taxes seem like a minor problem, and I really don’t think Houston has much to worry about.
And if Mexico cleans up its corruption problems, and improves its intermodal transportation to the efficiency of the US (which is what it will take to be a serious rival to the Port of Houston), I really don’t have any complaint if they can outperform Texas. If they can.
“And where, exactly will Mexico build this container port? Vera Cruz? Pretty far south. Across from Brownsville? Poor harbor, and inadequately sheltered.”
You may well be right that there are no “natural” harbor sites on the Caribbean near the Texas border, but technology is a wonderful thing. And if the Mexicans needed to build it further south, that would not be a big problem because they have a ready supply of cheap fuel to feed their trucks. I don’t much like Mexico or it’s government, but they do do what’s best for them, which is a lot more than can be said about the US today.
I went to Ensenada as a kid, It was a crap hole where Californians went to drink under age. It’s in Baja California which is somewhat out of the mainstream of the drug traffic, so it won’t have that problem. It pains me to have to applaud their efforts, because as they succeed, America looses. but it appears that enough of our “citizens” see everything as hunky dory, so we are going to have to watch an even bigger slide until they wake up and smell the coffee! The unions will fight to keep the status quo, but they too will ultimately go out of business.
“You may well be right that there are no natural harbor sites on the Caribbean near the Texas border, but technology is a wonderful thing. And if the Mexicans needed to build it further south, that would not be a big problem because they have a ready supply of cheap fuel to feed their trucks. I dont much like Mexico or its government, but they do do whats best for them, which is a lot more than can be said about the US today.”
Technology may be a wonderful thing, but Mother Nature, especially in the form of cyclonic storms of the tropics is even more so. Look up what happened to the Mulberry harbors in WWII, and they did not face a full hurricane.
Yes, you can build an artificial harbor capable of surviving a hurricane, but it is expensive and you cannot cheap it out. The reason Galveston did so well in the 1800s was that it was the only port on the Gulf Coast west of New Orleans that was on the sheltered side of a barrier island. Ports like Indianola, Brazos Santiago, and even Vera Cruz in Mexico were hellaciously vulnerable to hurricanes. Even Galveston was not as sheltered as Houston.
Also, doesn’t matter how cheap the fuel is if the roads and rail network isn’t up to the traffic. And railroads are still the preferred method of long-range overland transportation, not trucks. A container going any distance greater than 300 miles is generally put on a train to the large city nearest its destination and then loaded on a truck. Ultimately economics work in favor of a port in the US — preferably near the center of the country.
Again, that could change, but it requires an extensive rebuild of the transportation infrastructure in Mexico, plus an elimination of the endemic corruption.
As to unions - the longshore unions are the main reasons the major ports of the 1950s are no longer major ports. The container revolution favored the non-union ports. Major container facilities were located in ports that lacked strong longshore unions, and ports like New York and New Orleans with an “On The Waterfront” mentality are now mainly chi-chi collections of shops and restaurants. (Most of the traffic that used to go to NOLA now goes to port facilities above and below that city, but safely outside NOLA.