Anticipate disruption of imports and exports by means of East and Gulf Coast ports subsequent week because the Worldwide Longshoremen’s Affiliation plans to flex its muscle.
The Worldwide Longshoremen’s Affiliation (ILA) stated it’s calling for a shutdown of ports alongside the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and a march on Washington subsequent week.
A march on Washington instantly brings to thoughts a protest in opposition to the brand new Trump administration just like the Worldwide Longshore & Warehouse Union’s (ILWU) protest that shut down the Port of Oakland throughout Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the USA.
Nevertheless, this strike seems to don’t have anything to do with the controversial new head of state.
The American Shipper article goes on to checklist the 2 points the ILA is protesting with its deliberate ports shutdown and march:
• Its long-standing want to eradicate the Waterfront Fee of New York Harbor;
• And the usage of state staff at terminals operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA).
What’s ironic about that is that Dupin quotes the ILA as saying issues like it’s protesting “job loss and the ensuing adverse impacts on America’s financial system” and can “spotlight hiring practices in a few of the nation’s ports that purposely cut back the numbers of dockworkers, inflicting immeasurable harm to the nation’s financial system.”
What makes these statements so ironic is how damaging it’s to the ports, jobs, and the nation’s financial system when union strikes shut down the ports.
In 2015, when labor strife was at its peak between the ILWU and Pacific Maritime Affiliation (PMA), estimates began popping out on simply how a lot port shutdowns price the U.S. financial system per day.
Some estimates had been within the one to 2 billion greenback per day vary, however in accordance with a examine commissioned by the Nationwide Affiliation of Producers and the Nationwide Retail Federation put the quantity at $2.5 billion per day.
The examine that got here up with these figures was researching what work stoppages of 5, 10, and 20 days would price the nationwide financial system, and the main target appeared to be on West Coast ports.
This work stoppage the ILA has deliberate for East and Gulf Coast ports ought to positively not be for something shut to five, 10, or 20 days. Due to this fact, the monetary impression to the nationwide financial system shouldn’t be practically this huge. In fact, you will be assured that it’ll come at a value.
Most regarding is that this might be a portend to what’s to come back through the negotiations for a brand new contract between the ILA and the United States Maritime Alliance, Ltd. (USMX).
Simply final week, Joseph Bonney reported within the Journal of Commerce (JOC) that the ILA and USMX had been taking the primary steps towards contract bargaining with casual conferences on the topic.
These conferences are a number of steps away from precise negotiations between the ILA and USMX, however it’s ominous that so shortly after the conferences the ILA chooses to arrange a shutdown of the ports.
The present contract between the ILA and USMX will expire September thirtieth, 2018.
Shippers are actually compelled to look towards the upcoming negotiations with pessimism, which is a tragic flip from the optimism created when the USMX and ILA talked of opening discussions on a brand new, long-term contract over three years earlier than the present one expires.
As regular, when one thing appears too good to be true…
The ILA, together with the ILWU, has an extended historical past and coverage of not agreeing to a brand new contract earlier than the earlier one is expired. The unions’ biggest negotiation leverage comes from strikes and labor slowdowns. These weapons change into rather more available after a contract expires.
How may we truthfully anticipate a brand new contract negotiated earlier than the present one expires?
In fact, the union shutting down ports over a yr earlier than the contract expires is a bit sudden too.