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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 14, 2015 at 9:09 AM

Port slowdown: Two sides to the story

Any bargaining over contested points of view has two sides. The current Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union dispute is no different [“Lawmakers push for end to West Coast port strife,” Business, Feb. 12].

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 various rates of pay, potential annual earnings and benefits are being tossed out into public discussion as a smoke screen. This week the PMA has chosen to not use labor whenever the rate of pay is not straight time.

Let’s be clear, this has become a matter of one side of the bargaining table going public in order to force their last and final offer onto the other party when in fact rates of pay and the designation of premium pay has most likely already been settled long ago.

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 its labor force — a labor force that organized to capably respond to ocean carriers who once held all the marbles.

There are two sides. Let’s keep that in mind as we criticize the two bargaining parties.

Chuck Morrison, Tacoma

Comments | More in Port of Seattle | Topics: Chuck Morrison, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Pacific Maritime Association

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