Relating to Peter Tirschwell’s “Behind Your Very long Wait for Packages” (op-ed, June 3): America’s ports are extremely successful, with Worldwide Longshore and Warehouse Union workers in California, Oregon and Washington breaking all-time data thirty day period immediately after thirty day period during the pandemic. We risked our lives, losing some employees to Covid-19, to unload the PPE, professional medical products and other items that have saved life and stocked shelves. Our challenging get the job done has been praised and named “heroic” by port executives from Los Angeles to Seattle.
Mr. Tirschwell blames ILWU personnel for decisions created by our companies: The union agrees that gates really should open up 24/7, but terminal operators refuse to regularly seek the services of us for the 3rd change. The scarcity of chassis, railcars and other products has absolutely nothing to do with ILWU labor. Agricultural exporters have begged our employers to deliver containers that farmers need to have to ship overseas. But in its place, the overseas-based entrepreneurs improve for their very own gains, not efficiency here in the U.S.
Mr. Tirschwell fails to mention automation’s downsides: Human-run ports simply cannot be hacked like automated infrastructure can. Longshore staff move cargo with history-breaking outcomes, we guidance our communities and fork out U.S. taxes. Automation mainly rewards the Asian and European terminal operators that lease our general public port terminals (and invest in promotion in Mr. Tirschwell’s publication.)
Mr. Tirschwell attributes a employee shortage to stimulus checks—a fantasy currently debunked by others—but the point is that our employer refuses to jointly agree to employ the service of sufficient longshore employees to get the task accomplished.
And although Mr. Tirschwell statements longshore labor “hinders advancements,” he really should know our union formed in 1934. If he thinks that hooks and barrels are nonetheless the predominant applications we use below on the West Coast, he is even much more out of touch than we imagined.
ILWU Global President
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Appeared in the June 5, 2021, print edition as ‘Problems With U.S. Ports Are Management’s.’