Here’s the latest update on Big Labor’s long-planned manufactured chaos at our West Coast ports. The two sides are headed toward federal mediation after 8 days of ILWU-sponsored havoc on the economy:
Both sides in the strike that has crippled the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have agreed to federal mediation, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Tuesday at a news conference.
Villaraigosa said the agreement was an encouraging sign and could help bring an end to the strike, now in its eighth day. He said the parties negotiated throughout the night and there had been some recent movement.
“I’m hopeful that the mediator will be here today,” Villaraigosa told reporters. “We’ve got to get a deal and get a deal as soon as possible.”
Workers belonging to the 800-member International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit have been on strike since Nov. 27 against a 14-employer group of shipping lines and terminal owners. The picket lines are being honored by the 10,000 regional members of the ILWU. Add in local truckers, and some 20,000 workers are affected, Villaraigosa estimated.
The strike has shut down 10 of the 14 cargo container terminals at the nation’s busiest seaport complex. The clerical workers had been without a contract since June 30, 2010.
The shutdown is costing $1 billion a day in lost wages and trade while empty ships pile up. The striking union clerk workers rejected a deal that would guarantee their jobs and “bring the average annual OCU wage-and-benefits package to more than $190,000 over the next three and one-half years.”
But as you know full well, it’s not about workers. It’s about anarchy, agitation, and protecting entrenched Big Labor power.
11/2/11 Live from Occupy Oakland: Window smashing, vandalism, and more; charter buses to port, Teamsters in the house; port shut down, trucks overrun; Update: Tear gas, riot police, fire, firecrackers at midnight Pacific time