December 2, 2012

Fun Facts of the Night in the West Coast Ports Strike

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 11:41 pm

Tonight’s fun facts relate to the strike by the group a Reuters report describes as “500 clerical workers at the ports, members of the relatively small Office of Clerical Union Workers” at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The strikers’ picket lines have been honored by “some 10,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.”

These fun facts are rarely mentioned, but readers will want to learn them, and the rest of the country also should be quite interested. Though they could conceivably be elsewhere, I only found them mentioned in one Associated Press item from two days ago currently carried at Google News. It’s a good thing it’s there, because it appears to be gone from the AP’s national web site. In fact, a search there at 11 p.m. ET on “Los Angeles ports” (not in quotes) came up empty. The fun facts are not in the aforementioned Reuters story, a very long AP story from November 28 found at the San Jose Mercury News, or a related November 30 New York Times story. The fun facts, and a link to the AP story, are after the jump:

The item (saved here for future reference) was written by Shaya Tayaefe Mohajer and Robert Jablon. Here are its first six paragraphs, with fun fact Number 1 in bold:

A strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach entered its fourth day on Friday despite efforts to end the walkout that has idled most of the nation’s busiest cargo complex.

Seven of eight terminals in Los Angeles and three of six in Long Beach were closed to cargo container traffic as dockworkers refused to cross picket lines set up by union clerical workers who claim shippers are outsourcing their jobs.

There were a handful of picketers at each terminal on Friday, said Phillip Sanfield, Los Angeles port spokesman.

Combined, Los Angeles and Long Beach handle 40 percent of the nation’s import trade.

At least 18 cargo ships have been unable to load or unload since workers began the strike on Tuesday. A handful of vessels that were anchored offshore apparently left for other ports, Sanfield said.

The walkout involves clerical workers from a chapter of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, who typically make more than $160,000 a year. Dockworkers are a separate unit of the same union.

The clerical workers’ contracts with 14 terminal operators expired 2-1/2 years ago. Ongoing contract talks broke off on Monday then resumed on Thursday, ran until midnight and were scheduled to continue on Friday.

… At issue is the union’s contention that terminal operators have outsourced local clerical jobs out of state and overseas — an allegation the shippers deny.

Seriously, the clerical workers make at least four times what the average American full-time worker makes, and even twice as much as a Chicago public school teacher. Yet they’re striking, even though (here comes Fact Number 2) “Shippers … have offered lifelong job security to the 600 or so full-time clerical workers … (and) also have offered to boost average annual pay from $165,000 to $195,000 and grant 11 weeks of paid vacation.”

Readers who understand the union-favoring, far-left orientation of the press, especially that of the Associated Press, understand perfectly why these fun facts have failed to make their way into the vast majority of establishment press stories.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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