Strikes are ‘strikingly’ scary? …

Strikes are ‘strikingly’ scary? …

Featured, News/Blogon November 30th, 2012No Comments

Strikes are ‘strikingly’ scary? … Especially when it happens to the largest of USA’s ports!

Over the last 4 days, 10 of Los Angeles’ 14 terminals have halted work and 3 of Long Beach’s 4 ocean port terminals are closed, YES, they are on strike!!!  Attempts to talk between the employers of the ‘International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 63 Office Clerical Unit’ and the ‘Union Leaders’ haven’t done much – other than create you a supply chain nightmare.

Why the strike?

Well, they are saying it is to stop the outsourcing of port jobs.  The usual increase in salary, from a nice salary of $165,000 on average per year to a meager $195,000 per year.  Oh, and don’t forget the request for paid vacation, a whopping 11 weeks.

So, now what happens?  Well, a few suggestions are to see if your carrier can offer you the option to have the cargo re-routed to another Port?  It will of course be a hassle, but it is better than your shipment sitting idle in the Pacific, in the Harbor or even docked with no idea on how long this strike may last.

Even the RILA  (Retail Industry Leaders Association) is getting involved and demanding that the Obama Administration get involved to ensure to timely resolution to this.

What does a strike really do?  It is a self inflicted wound if you ask me.

1) The workers are out of a job, even though it is temporary (we hope), but especially during the holiday time?

2) The vessel companies are stuck with cargo they cannot off-load and subsequently are constrained from the quantities of new cargo they can ship. It can then result in other pertinent shipments not making it to other parts of the world, and potentially result in increased shipping costs – so the shipping companies can compensate for the losses.

3) The importers, wholesalers and retailers get stuck with empty shelves and minimal supplies – which can consequently result in employees of those establishments being laid off?

Prices of items could go up (i.e. fruits, vegetables, electronics, cars, etc.)

4) Trucking companies who move the freight to and from the port are financially affected.

5) The US Government then suffers due to the delay in collecting duties and taxes.

The list could go ON and ON and ON.

So the question is, who wins in this scenario?

Well, to start,

1) The subsequent ports that the freight may get moved through, but now it will cost importers more to move the freight to where it needs to go, which consequently results in the raising of prices. BUT we the average people, with an average income – a salary that is not increasing with this, right? – so still not a “winning” scenario.

2) The airline cargo industry as the alternative method of shipping for urgent shipments – again the end consumer would end up paying more for this.

3) OH, don’t forget, the “strikers” who may just actually get 11 weeks of paid vacation and a $30,000 increase in salary.

ALL of these “winning” scenarios come with a catch – someone wins, but not the end user who is most likely NOT making $165,000 a year and who is also most likely NOT going to see a possible $30,000 raise either.

So, in the end, if this situation has affected you, feel free to call us and we will see what we can do to help you, and we assure you, we will not be asking for a $30,000 raise either =)

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