Sunday, February 22, 2015

When does a union get too big?


Recently, the ILWU decided to “strike” by working slowly at the Oakland ports. They are hoping for higher wages and more benefits. This has impacted many businesses that are not receiving their products on time. President Obama sent in Labor Secretary Tom Perez to help with negotiations.

The longshoremen union is a prime example of when a union becomes too big and powerful. In this case, the ILWU had little moral compass when they decided to sabotage the port by working slowly and less efficiently with no regard to the innocent players such as small business and individuals that depended on the cargo shipping. It is no doubt that billions of dollars were lost due to expired merchandise and items not received. America and the world should not be held hostage by a greedy group. According to Shippingwatch, American longshoremen are paid three times more than the average American salary. Unions like this affect the economy and safety of our country need to be controlled. The writer of the SF Chronicle article was an ILWU member has a biased view. I am glad President Reagan dismembered of the air traffic control union making air travel much safer without the threat of a union shutting down an airport and putting peoples lives at risk. This was not very different than what is happening with the longshoremen.

Questions:
Should we allow this behavior to continue?
If Tom Perez’s negotiations do not work, should the government step in and dismember the union like it did with air traffic control?

1 comment:

Miranda Brinkley said...

Unions, just like any other organization or person become dangerous when they hold too much sway or have too much power. I do understand that what they do can be difficult work, but that is such as any job and I don't believe that the union should be able to strike over something like wages when they get paid substantially more than a lot of the lower class citizens. I personally know people whose businesses have had products and merchandise stuck at the docks for nearly a month now due to their strike, and it's beginning to take their toll on the businesses. I hope the negotiations get us somewhere, but if they don't I think the union's power needs to be limited somewhat, although I don't believe it should be outright disbanded. The careful balance between workers' rights and government intervention is still obviously a prevalent problem that has yet to have a solid solution.