ILWU Local 25: A disgrace to American productivity

Yet another labor union is making itself the laughing stock of American manufacturing. A labor dispute which has been going on for quite a long time from ILWU Local 25 on the west coast involving oversea container shipping has created a bottleneck of great inconvenience during the holiday season. Being the collectivist slugs that they are, union members upset at their contract terms—or lack thereof, are deliberating dragging their feet causing mountains of product to sit idle at their docks awaiting transport. Reuters reported the issue this way:

(Reuters) – Tension over prolonged labor talks between maritime shippers and the union representing 20,000 West Coast dockworkers has erupted in public as the two sides blamed each other for escalating cargo congestion at the two busiest U.S. container ports.

As of Tuesday, 14 freighters were anchored waiting for space to enter the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where container cargo traffic has been backing up for about a month, delaying deliveries of last-minute holiday merchandise, port and retail officials said.

The number of cargo ships kept waiting outside the two ports ranged from about eight to 15 on any given day since the backups began around mid-October, said Phillip Sanfield, a spokesman for the Port of Los Angeles.

“On a normal day, we rarely have ships waiting at anchor unless they want to be there,” he said.

Los Angeles and Long Beach rank as the nation’s No. 1 and 2 container ports by volume, together handling 43 percent of all containerized goods entering the United States.

The congestion crisis there comes as labor negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association, representing terminal operators and ocean carriers, have dragged on well past the June 30 expiration of the dockworkers’ latest contract.

Management has accused the union of orchestrating work slowdowns by its members, first at ports in the Pacific Northwest, and then at Los Angeles and Long Beach, to create leverage at the bargaining table.

Union officials acknowledge that individual dockworkers may be acting out their frustration over the pace of contract talks, but deny organizing protest delays. They point to other factors that port officials cite as the main reasons for gridlock.

Even as the union workers deny they are protesting a quick look at the literature from their website will reveal the intentions of their psychosis. The unions often involve themselves in community fundraising activities so that they can trick the local population into believing their intentions are good. But their radical socialist roots demonstrate their general social philosophy as revealed below—which is excessively evident by their own words. Their hatred of “management” is essentially the exact same animosity pulled from the pages of Karl Marx. Management—any management—is to be fought and beaten and left to the “will of the people.” Have a read for yourself:

Hundreds of visitors attending the Port of Anacortes “Bier on the Pier” festival and “Floating Boat Show” in early October encountered a giant banner with a hard-hitting message: “Port of Anacortes: blowing your tax dollars, unfair to maintenance workers, accountability now!”

The banner and public outreach materials were distributed by a dozen Port workers, local community members, supporters from ILWU Local 25, the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 191, Carpenters Local 756, plus staff and volunteers from “We Do the Work” radio. Visitors attending the events showed concern about problems being raised by Port workers. Hundreds accepted leaflets explaining how maintenance workers at the Port are trying to keep things running safely and smoothly – while Port bureaucrats are breaking labor laws and wasting public funds.

Last November, the Port’s maintenance workers voted to join ILWU Local 25. They made their decision after facing years of mismanagement and abusive treatment from Port supervisors.

Instead of honoring the workers’ decision and cooperating with employees, managers ordered workers to attend mandatory meetings with Port executives who threatened union= supporters for wearing ILWU buttons. The Port workers held their ground.

“We refused to be intimidated, stood up together for respect, and voted to form our union after the managers illegally threatened us,” said Mike Wray, a Port maintenance employee.

The Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) ruled in September that Port management acted improperly and outside the law. “The State validated what workers and community members have been saying publicly for= months now,” said Dave Bost, one of several maintenance workers who was threatened by Port managers.

After winning their union election, maintenance workers began to seek afair contract – while management continued violating the law.

Port managers illegally changed the employees’ health plan; eliminated parking options for maintenance workers and obstructed union testimony before state investigators – by allowing a management witnesses to stay on the clock while Local 25 members were forced to use vacation, unpaid or comp time to testify in a PERC hearing over illegal management activity.

Port administrators recently admitted to a local newspaper that they’ve spent over $50,000 in public funds so far on private lawyers to negotiate a simple contract with employees. As of November, community members estimate that the Port’s legal fees are approaching $100,000.


The dispute described centers on the “legal right” to organize against management, and when management fights back in any way at all—it is castigated. The next terrorist attempt is to make the management feel the pain for not giving in to the extortion practice of organizing against them in the first place. The union intention is to make management feel pain one way or another with the message intended to destroy their resistance to aggressive—unified take over of the company management of resources.


Every time I hear a story like this I am embarrassed for American productivity, the lack of “can do” attitude that it creates for foreign markets. There is nothing more embarrassing than to explain to an export destination overseas that they do not have a product from the United States because some small mentality scanky union dudes are dragging ass at the shipping docks because they want more money or a better health care package. Labor strikes in general speak of a lack of personal pride in the production of one’s work, and only illustrate a commitment to collective ambition toward the mediocre. There is nothing good that comes out of a work stoppage except as an act of terrorism against productivity. There is no justification, there is no upside to allowing shipping docks to stack with product while a bunch of dock workers stand around talking about Ariana Grande’s rear end puffing away on cigarettes that mandate they have good health coverage because of their own irresponsibly lifestyles. They are an embarrassment to American productivity and a shame to global commerce.

Rich Hoffman

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