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You talk about greedy corporations?

by TONI H / December 27, 2012 6:16 PM PST

how about greedy union longshoremen?

They are already making upwards of $200K per year but because so many of their jobs have become automated by massive cranes and computers, they want their 'fair share' of the pot to continue as more companies are looking to automate even more. One article claims 65K workers are involved, but other articles claim that only 16,500 are.

Expecting BO to intervene like Reagan did during the air traffic controller strike is like asking for truthfulness regarding F&F and Benghazi. And getting the NLRB involved will only result in one direction....the side of the unions as usual.



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YOU have NO problem with greedy corporations
by JP Bill / December 27, 2012 7:00 PM PST


YOU HAVE a problem with greedy Unions?

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PS...I forgot you DO have a problem with greedy corporations
by JP Bill / December 27, 2012 7:03 PM PST

You want everything but you don't want to pay for it.

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by TONI H / December 27, 2012 7:25 PM PST

Examples, please........just so I'll know what you are actually talking about and not having to guess for a change.

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(NT) Do you think there should be an increase in taxes?
by JP Bill / December 27, 2012 7:32 PM PST
In reply to: Huh?????
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Actually, I have always
by TONI H / December 27, 2012 9:20 PM PST

advocated that everyone.....repeat EVERYONE......should pay their fair share, not target only the wealthy who have risked personally to get where they are today. So, if that means increasing or having people at the lower end also pay something, then yes.......

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Maybe we need to recognize that greed isn't
by Steven Haninger / December 27, 2012 7:41 PM PST

a one-way street. It exists in people of all economic situations and is not limited to those who already have plenty. Greed isn't only about money either. It's also about one's willingness to put forth individual effort.

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Automation has always been an issue for Unions. They're not
by Ziks511 / December 27, 2012 8:01 PM PST

greedy, they just want to keep their jobs exactly as they are now. On this point, I find myself agreeing with you, except insofar as greedy Corporations deal in vastly larger sums of money, which all goes to the top management, not everybody. the Untion desire is that everyone at work should share in money now at risk

There's no point in celebrating more job loss, particularly well paid ones.


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by TONI H / December 27, 2012 9:52 PM PST

The union strike isn't going to help anybody but any workers that manage to keep their jobs down the road when more automation comes into play because there will still be workers laid off. So it seems to me that the strike for more of the pie is being done on a 'bet'......all of those striking are betting that they, individually and personally, will be one of the lucky ones still standing and the hell with those who get laid off later on. So much for 'all for one and one for all' mentality with unions.

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So let the computers do all the work?
by Willy / December 27, 2012 11:04 PM PST
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Looks like 2 greedy goups might be agreeable
by JP Bill / December 28, 2012 5:51 AM PST

IF both sides went in thinking like you...I wonder if this might happen.

Strike likely averted at East Coast ports

NEW YORK (AP) - The union for longshoremen along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico has agreed to extend its contract until early February, averting a possible strike that could have crippled operations at ports that handle about 40 percent of all U.S. container cargo, a federal mediator announced Friday.

The extension came after the union and an alliance of port operators and shipping lines resolved one of the stickier points in their monthslong contract negotiations, involving royalty payments to the longshoremen for each container they unload.

"royalty payments"?....."piece work"?.....CEOs receive them as "bonuses...incentives"

they put the GREE in aGREEable and GREEdy,

I think that's a good one....HIGH FIVE!!!

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Not exactly sure how these "royalty payments" work but
by Steven Haninger / December 28, 2012 6:34 AM PST

the best I can figure is that they get a guaranteed salary plus a bonus if they have to actually do work.

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RE: "royalty payments", the best I can figure
by JP Bill / December 28, 2012 11:07 AM PST

a bonus if they have to actually do work.

Sarcasm?......... Right?

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Hourly wage plus per container or tonnage?
by Steven Haninger / December 28, 2012 6:11 PM PST

I see something about 32 bucks an hour guaranteed plus "royalty" which is paid either by container or tonnage moved. If there are no ships to unload or their day is short, they get the hourly guarantee for a full day's work. I'm not disputing the hourly pay. If they're required to show up even if it's slow, they should get paid. I don't know how the bonus or royalty works and that's what I noted in my post. Can you explain it and why it's justly deserved? I know that in some sales jobs, the salesmen get a "draw" and commission on what they sell. The draw is a guaranteed salary as long as they are retained. It's not a large sum. A salesman who doesn't do well, is not retained. He will lose his job in a big hurry if he doesn't produce.

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RE: What are Royalty payments?
by JP Bill / December 28, 2012 7:26 PM PST

royalty payments on "containers which are loaded or unloaded away from the pier by non-ILA labor.

Some reading for you

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Sounds like messed up or antiquated labor laws
by Steven Haninger / December 28, 2012 7:41 PM PST

There's no doubt that automation has shifted the available work but it sounds like the longshoreman's union's objective was to preserve things as they were so far as compensation is concerned. Here's what I could find about this particular event and issue.


It would seem that what management is offering is just in that it will not affect current workers. They will continue to be paid as before. It will affect future hiring cycles which should bring things in line with modern work practices and job reality. What's wrong with that? We sometimes need to move on, I'd think. If the new policy doesn't attract enough workers and compensation is the issue, adjustments can be made to accommodate the requirements of that newer work force. They are the ones who will be affected. You and I won't other than that we could possibly see some reduction in the price of overseas goods. Of course we don't want overseas goods, do we? So maybe we should triple the pay of the longshoreman and drive up the prices to encourage USA made products? You tell me.

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I'd suggest a viewing of the film, I'm Alright, Jack.
by Ziks511 / December 28, 2012 11:10 AM PST

A British anti-union piece from the late 50's starring Ian Carmichael and Peter Sellers. Sellers plays the Chief Steward for the Union, in a great lower-class East End London accent. It parodies the feather-bedding and union intransigeance of that period.

Then sit down and remind yourself that it is a parody, a fictional exaggeration, and try to remember that most of the stories about Unions originate or are made up by large companies who are not happy with their union employees, like the company which made the movie for instance. It is still massively funny, unless you believe all the exaggerations being offered, at which point it becomes anger producing.

Unions exist to try to represent the members with at least some coordination versus the employers who hold all the cards and who have used them to dictate virtually all the terms. Given the extraordinary change in the financial centre of gravity of businesses over the last 40 years, by which I mean that the centre of gravity has moved up much close to the top than in the 50's and 60's and much of the 70's businesses now exercise much more power. Combined with the coalescence of industries into large and larger conglomerates, employees have less and less power to negotiate.

And, Toni, most wealthy people didn't scrabble their way up from nothing. Most of them were just born into the right families, The Bushes, the Romney's the Coke's etc. Generally it takes a university education to become the next Steve Jobs or the next Bill Gates, though I do recognize that the guy who started Papa John's probably wasn't one of those, nor do I disparage his efforts and those of others like him. It's just that people in the food service industry are paid such a pittance in wages versus what the CEO gets it's apalling. The day of the family business building itself up over generations appears to be over.



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(NT) I should view fiction to be educated? No thanks.
by Steven Haninger / December 28, 2012 6:16 PM PST
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we do that every day
by James Denison / December 28, 2012 8:43 PM PST

It's called Liberalism.

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I beg to differ with you
by TONI H / December 28, 2012 8:47 PM PST

but what else is new? Romney gave away his entire inheritance that he got from his father and started from scratch. If I remember Bill Gates' history correctly, he quit college. If you read Bush's autobiography, he also began at the bottom, but had friends while growing up that were helpful to him in getting investors for his ventures. If you look back at the 'Men Who Built America" (John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan), only one or two actually had money to begin with. The rest had the ability to look at a situation or invention and realize immediately how it could be made better, found investors, and forged ahead. You don't like hearing about how people actually have the ability to use their brain to get ahead and not just use it to read a book.......add to that brain capacity, the willingness to work your butt off to achieve your goal, and you have a new entrepreneur who measures his success on whether he's happy with stopping there or wanting to go further and branch out. Usually branching out means reinvesting in that successful company and expanding it......which also means hiring people to help with that......which also means feeding into the economy.

Not everybody makes it to the top 1%.....but not everybody even WANTS to, Rob......unfortunately, with this administration, ANY success is something they see as money in the government's pocket to spend with no effort put into helping that company become successful. The incentive to succeed dries up when you have a greedy government who sees nothing but opportunities for taxes.....and when the incentive to go further is gone, you end up with millions on foodstamps and the government controls their lives at every level.

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Maybe I get it now
by Steven Haninger / December 28, 2012 8:44 PM PST

1. The longshoremen once had the job of loading and unloading the actual cargo items from pier to ship and ship to pier.

2. The use of large containers that could be put on railroad cars and taken closer to distribution sites has largely eliminated the need to handle actual merchandise.

3. The lack of need to load and unload the cargo the "old fashioned way" has lessened the work and cost dockside jobs.

4. The jobs of handling the actual cargo have been moved to distribution sites and are no longer employment opportunities for the longshoremen.

5.The longshoremen want protection from work and job loss. They've, therefore, constructed an agreement that will allow some payment for the lost work of handling actual merchandise (stuffing and un-stuffing).

6. The agreement include s a "royalty" fee on each container moved to/from pier to ship.

7. Though the containers are actually "stuffed and un-stuffed" by other workers, the longshoremen want a piece of that action too.

They want money for work they did not perform?

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By George, I think you've got it.
by TONI H / December 28, 2012 9:04 PM PST
In reply to: Maybe I get it now

Some history......my uncle was a longshoreman when the Cleveland docks were pretty busy back in the 50's. A large crated cargo box was being hoisted on a chain to swing to the dock off a ship and it broke...the box fell on my uncle, paralyzing him for life. My aunt personally kept him at home until he past away in the early 80's and cared for him every day......without ever a visit from any of his union reps or buddies and no offers of help. Insurance wouldn't pay for a nursing home (great benefits, right?) so she was his nurse. He was too young for his 'retirement' benefits and/or pension, so in addition to Social Security Disability checks for all those years, he got a small $100 check from the union every month. He died in early 1980.....she applied for his pension and widow's benefits......and died one week after he did...their daughters had her buried with him. Nobody ever collected his benefits, because their daughters were adults by then and his contract refused to pay out the pension saying that the way it was written only his wife would have been entitled to it. BTW....the contract also for the entire time he was disabled called for his dues and health insurance to continue to be paid for, which was why he only got that $100 a month........those 'bills' were deducted before they cut that check.

I saw something on tv last night that indicated that NY and another port (possibly NJ) ALONE at one time had nearly triple the total of longshoremen that are at the heart of ALL of the ports now from Maine to Texas. That's how far down the union has gone with losing membership due to automation for shipyards. It's hard to believe that a mere 16,000 longshoremen could actually shut down the entire East Coast AND the Gulf and pretty much destroy not only the economy single-handedly but thousands of lives along with it. We have another 30 days to see if they call the strike or if BO grows a pair and stands up to them and uses the Taft-Hartley Act to rein them in.

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RE: great benefits, right?
by JP Bill / December 28, 2012 9:22 PM PST

now you think they have too many benefits...Some people are never happy.

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(NT) smok'em if you got'em?
by James Denison / December 28, 2012 9:30 PM PST
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We need privately owned ports
by James Denison / December 28, 2012 9:32 PM PST

Not so many govt owned.

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that's it
by James Denison / December 28, 2012 9:05 PM PST
In reply to: Maybe I get it now

They want the power and rights of ownership without actually owning it. Didn't they use to call that "racketeering"?

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Unions are
by TONI H / December 28, 2012 9:58 PM PST
In reply to: that's it

the biggest Ponzi pyramid schemes ever dreamed up........yet are protected by their own organization called the NLRB.

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Well, I'm sure they got that provision
by Steven Haninger / December 28, 2012 10:44 PM PST
In reply to: that's it

by saying "Pretty please". Wink

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