When two parties sit down to negotiate, it is assumed they will bargain in good faith. Good faith requires compromise. Compromise demands that each come off their original positions.
In the negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, no hard information has been released by either party, so why is it assumed that all the fault lies with the ILWU?
We can speculate that the fully automated terminals in Los Angeles/Long Beach are the problem. I have no inside information, but I understand the long-term impact on the workforce, the communities, and possibly on ports as far away as Tacoma and Seattle.
A fully automated facility will eliminate hundreds of jobs. That's thousands of dollars that won't be spent in those community and taxes that won't be collected. The terminals are run by foreign shipping lines, and the increased profits will also leave the country.
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The automated facility will require three million container moves to break even. Last year, 1.5 million containers were handled. Where will the other moves come from? Could be other terminals in the area or even Tacoma.
If you were at the table representing the ILWU and the bigger picture I've painted, what would you do? Roll over? No, you would not.
I hope the mediator will get both sides to compromise for the benefit of all stakeholders, owners, workers and communities.
(Jagielski is president of the Tacoma Pensioners club.)