On the Waterfront II

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Could this Port Strike Be Big Labor’s Last Hurrah?  With union membership at an all-time low, and the economy anemic at best, could the Portland strike break Big Labor’s grip on business forever?  The chance the President will intervene when the nation’s ports are closed down is nil.  With an 85% chance union bosses will call a strike, hundreds of billions of dollars of cargo will not make it to retail outlets and the retail business could come to a very loudly screeching halt.  To say nothing of the lost business, and the ensuing layoffs and economic slowdown.   Michelle Malkin  has the story on National Review:  

It’s not about jobs. It’s not about safety. . . .The looming, long-planned East and Gulf Coast port strikes are about protecting Big Labor’s archaic work practices and corrupt waterfront rackets.  

Are you ready for a fiscal cliff? The union bosses of an estimated 14,500 workers at 15 ports are preparing to send the economy plunging back into recession over changes in productivity and efficiency rules. You read that right. Much more on that in a moment. But first, here’s what’s at stake.

The grip of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) extends from Boston to Florida to Texas and all points along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The New York–New Jersey ports — which handle cargo valued at $208 billion a year — could come to a standstill. 

Retailers have begged Big Labor–lovin’ President Obama to intervene. Good luck with that. The cozy White House powwow with union bosses immediately after Election Day tells you all you need to know about which side Obama champions.

The United States Maritime Alliance (USMX), which represents 14 Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports, has been bracing for a union-spearheaded shutdown since this summer, when labor negotiations fell apart. The ILA’s current contract expired on September 30. Federal mediators granted a 90-day extension, which ends on December 29. ILA president Harold Daggett won a green light earlier this month from his membership to call a strike if the USMX doesn’t give in completely to the union’s demands. According to my sources, despite overwhelming industry concessions on wages and benefits, port watchers view the likelihood of a strike at “probably 70 to 85 percent now.”

. . . The union won’t budge, and it is screaming bloody murder over attempts to rein in other inefficiencies.

Union bosses and their Occupy Wall Street henchmen will be ratcheting up their rhetoric about “greed” and “fat cats” as they move to ring in the New Year by bringing the American economy to its knees. Now you know the rest of the story.

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