Re: "West Coast port crisis needs president's intervention" (editorial, 2-13).
Any bargaining over contested points of view has two sides. The current dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is no different.
In the most current escalation, the employers are choosing not to use labor at whatever pace that labor performs. Not calling night shifts has nothing to do with fair negotiations, especially when “leaks” of various rates of pay, potential annual earnings and benefits are being tossed out into public discussion as a smoke screen. The PMA has chosen to not use labor whenever the rate of pay is not straight time.
So let’s be clear: This has become a matter of one side of the bargaining table going public in order to force its last and final offer onto the other party, when in fact rates of pay and the designation of premium pay most likely were settled long ago.
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Labor holds in its power the ability to withdraw its services. The employer holds the ability to lock out labor and much more. The employers are making the best of the port congestion they too have caused by besmirching the labor force, which organized to capably respond to ocean carriers that once held all the marbles.
There are two sides. Let’s keep that in mind as we criticize the two bargaining parties.