ILWU Takes Advantage of No Contract, Slowing Down Port of Portland

ILWU Takes Benefit of No Contract, Slowing Down Port of Portland


In all of the joint statements from the Pacific Maritime Affiliation (PMA) and Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) the reassurance that “each events have pledged to maintain cargo shifting” has been included.

Apparently, for the ILWU that pledge means they’ll maintain cargo shifting all over the place besides on the Port of Portland.

The Journal of Commerce (JOC) reviews:

The operator of Portland’s solely container terminal charged this week that crane productiveness hit a brand new low of seven.5 strikes per hour as a result of Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union members are stepping up their hard-timing techniques now that there is no such thing as a longshore contract in impact.

Possibly, I’m being harsh. There may be nonetheless motion. I assume the pledge may imply the ILWU will maintain cargo shifting alongside the west coast, however actually, actually slowly on the Port of Portland.

To provide perspective to simply how gradual ILWU members are shifting cargo in Portland, let’s evaluate their present crane productiveness of seven.5 strikes per hour to the excessive finish of productiveness over in Charleston the place operators’ crane productiveness is over 40 strikes per hour in line with one other article from the JOC.

Right here’s how the productiveness at Portland would stack as much as that of Charleston over the course of an 8-hour work day.

  • Charleston – 320 strikes per crane
  • Portland – 60 strikes per crane

Let’s simply broaden that to a 5-day work week (though ports are inclined to function at greater than 8 hours a day, 5 days per week).

  • Charleston – 1,600 strikes per crane
  • Portland – 300 strikes per crane

Possibly it’s not honest to check the productiveness of the ILWU members at Portland to what’s occurring at Charleston. In spite of everything, Charleston is on the excessive excessive finish of productiveness.

“Most terminal operators within the U.S. cite 30 strikes per crane per hour as being a normal to try for,” in line with that second JOC article. So let’s see these numbers in comparison with this 30 strikes per hour customary.

Portland versus customary over 8 hours:

  • Commonplace – 240 strikes per crane
  • Portland – 60 strikes per crane

Portland versus customary over 40 hours:

  • Commonplace – 1,200 strikes per crane
  • Portland – 300 strikes per crane

Oh, yeah. That’s significantly better. Nevermind. Working at 1 / 4 of the trade customary productiveness fee is okay.

Besides it’s not.

“Hanjin final 12 months threatened to go away Portland if productiveness doesn’t return to the excessive 20s,” reported the JOC.

It was really introduced that Hanjin would cease calling on the Port of Portland final 12 months, which might have ended virtually 20 years of the service serving the port. By far the most important service serving the Port of Portland, Hanjin now not calling there could be disastrous.

Not solely would Hanjin leaving the Port of Portland damage the native economic system, importers, and exporters, however it might additionally value ILWU jobs. The pullout would “finish a $250,000 weekly payroll for longshore employees who load and unload the vessels at Terminal 6,” says the JOC.

Jobs at Terminal 6 are what began this entire hard-timing or slowdown techniques transfer from the ILWU on the Port of Portland. 2 jobs to be exact.

The Worldwide Brotherhood of Electrical Staff (IBEW) had been dealing with the plugging, unplugging, and monitoring of reefer containers on the Port of Portland for 30 years. When the Port of Portland introduced in ICTSI to deal with terminal operations (largely due to inefficient work practices) and ICTSI joined the PMA however didn’t take the two reefer monitoring jobs away from the IBEW and provides them to the ILWU, ILWU members actually began slowing down productiveness.

Close to the top of final 12 months, the ILWU was awarded the 2 jobs; nevertheless, poor productiveness has continued and worsened because the expiration of the ILWU contract on July 1st.

In line with a JOC article quoting Invoice Wyatt, government director on the Port of Portland factors to ICTSI coming in and attempting to wash up inefficient work practices as the true supply of the ILWU dockworker’s discontent on the port:

“We needed to turn out to be extra environment friendly, so ICTSI bought on to those high-cost work practices,” Wyatt stated. It’s ICTSI’s assault on inefficient work practices that’s the actual explanation for the animosity between the union and ICTSI, Wyatt maintains.

The Port of Portland managed to maintain Hanjin on the port by providing incentives, however the plummeting of ILWU’s productiveness nonetheless places the port susceptible to shedding the service (and different enterprise apart from).

Actually, the port already has misplaced a lot enterprise. JOC reviews, “Portland’s container quantity plunged to 178,451 20-foot container models in 2013 from 339,571 TEUs in 2003, in line with port statistics.”

If Portland finally ends up shedding Hanjin due to their poor productiveness, the price of the ILWU’s hard-timing techniques on the port will value much more than the two jobs ILWU managed to wrestle away from the IBEW.

As no information of decision to the ILWU coast-wide contract negotiations have surfaced, ILWU actions on the Port of Portland regardless of the union’s pledge to maintain cargo shifting makes for an uneasy feeling that slowdowns may occur at different west coast ports as properly.

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