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Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind


By Jim Kirwan


Semi-Trucks idled @ American Ports

Round One in TPP, of the Trans Pacific Partnership, was initiated at West Coast Ports in the U.S. on February 13, 2015.

The point behind idling the ports, is being made by the private global- corporations, not the unions, in order to empty the shelves in supermarkets nationwide for three or four weeks ­ to force the public to approve the blackmail contained in TPP: This is part of what lies beneath the latest move to allow international corporations to become nation-states worldwide…

Most people will not notice the blackmail until they can no longer buy what they go to super-markets to buy. Trader Joe’s is already feeling fallouts from this, in San Francisco. This will probably remain a non-topic, until it can no longer be avoided; because no one will believe that this kind of outrage could ever happen. But the unions have now been idled, at some American ports, because the international-corporate owners of the shipping companies are keeping their ships filled with perishable goods at sea, for at least four days to make their political points against both the unions and the public in the disunited states.

I am extremely concerned and disappointed in the Pacific Maritime Association’s (PMA) latest reckless and irresponsible decision to suspend activity at ports along the West Coast this weekend.

California’s ports drive our state’s and our nation’s economy. The Port of Los Angeles, which is in my district and the neighboring Port of Long Beach are the busiest ports in the United States. The goods that are imported and exported out of these two ports alone feed, clothe and supply vital goods to people all over our country and throughout the world.

The latest actions by the PMA show a blatant disregard for the workers who have built our California’s port system, for the small, medium and large businesses across the country that rely on stable and reliable goods movement and for the economic security that these ports provide to our nation.

Instead of working constructively with ILWU, Local 13 towards a fair and responsible labor contract, the PMA has chosen to unfairly penalize workers and has shown willingness to sacrifice the great economic recovery currently underway for their own economic benefit.

The PMA has entered into a very dangerous and unnecessary game. California’s and the United States’ economic security is no game ­ it is central to our national security and to the economic wellbeing of nations and continents throughout the world. I demand that the PMA reconsider its decision to suspend port activity this weekend, reopen our ports, re-enter into good faith negotiations with ILWU, Local 13 and stop being a barrier to California’s economic recovery.”

Senator Isadore Hall: PMA has shown willingness to sacrifice economic recovery

ILWU news release: Port employers cancel talks and idle vessels

Union calls on employers to work vessels, deliver cargo & resume talks

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (FEBRUARY 11, 2011) — Today, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), a consortium of international corporations, informed the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) that ships will not be worked at West Coast Ports four of the next five days.

This action marks the second time in less than a week that employers have idled vessels.

The same group of predominantly foreign-owned companies also cancelled a negotiating session scheduled today for 1pm with the ILWU’s Negotiating Committee. The employers have not made themselves available to negotiate since Friday of last week.

This is an effort by the employers to put economic pressure on our members and to gain leverage in contract talks,” said ILWU President Robert McEllrath. “The Union is standing by ready to negotiate, as we have been for the past several days.”

At the same time that PMA announced this action and cancelled today’s negotiations, PMA’s public relations firm issued a press release that grossly mischaracterizes the ILWU’s current bargaining position.

It seems to us that the employers are trying to sabotage negotiations,” said McEllrath. “They are not just hurting workers, families and communities,” he said, “What our employers are doing is bad for the industry and the US economy.”


  • The cessation of vessel operations was initiated by employers, and is NOT a strike by workers.

Longshore workers earn excellent benefits and good hourly wages ranging from $26-$41 per hour. Most are unable to work a full 2000 hours in a normal work year. The typical pay for an experienced longshore worker is $83,000. Longshore work is extremely hazardous, with fatality rates exceeding those of police and firefighters.”

This is not just about food. This is about everything that comes into this country by sea. Since the US no longer makes its own clothing, in general, the things that the big-box stores sell will all be directly affected, not to mention the huge fresh fruit market that comes in from Central America every day….

Can you say “coffee”?

The PMA is an employer association whose largest members include Denmark-based Maersk Line, Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine, Korean-based Hanjin Shipping, Philippines-based ICTSI, Japan-based NYK Line, Hong Kong-based OOCL, China-based COSCO, and other employers based in France, Norway and worldwide.

Aerial photos of ports show what the PMA doesn’t want the public to see

... In mid-January, PMA claimed that there was a lack of dock space for containers, and it eliminated night shifts at many ports.

PMA is leaving ships at sea and claiming there’s no space on the docks, but there are acres of asphalt just waiting for the containers on those ships, and hundreds of longshore workers ready to unload them,” said McEllrath. “The employers are deliberately worsening the existing congestion crisis to gain the upper hand at the bargaining table.”

The union’s photos of marine terminals in Southern California that show large tracts of space that would easily fit thousands of containers…

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is based in San Francisco, Calif., and is negotiating a contract that has covered longshore workers at 30 West Coast ports in California, Oregon and Washington since 1934. ...

The ‘wonderful thing’ about this impending crisis is that this will HIT the lame-ass yuppies that never see what’s going on right in front of their overstuffed faces!

Here’s your Valentine’s Day GIFT from the global-government of the world!


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