This story was interesting. There was a strike that halted work at a port in LA. The clerical workers were striking over attempts to outsource their jobs. The other workers refused to cross the picket line, and all port at the dock halted. The main issue was attempts to outsource their jobs. The strike was finally settled.
The clerks, who make an average base salary of $87,000 a year, have some of the best-paying blue-collar jobs in the nation. When vacation, pension and other benefits are factored in, the employers said, their annual compensation package reached $165,000 a year.
That’s pretty lucrative! That’s more than double what I get paid! (when I do have a job; I’m currently unemployed.)
This is the infamous Longshoreman’s union. They negotiated way-above-market salaries for their workers, due to their ability to cripple the ports when they strike
At one time, the Longshoreman’s union was a lot of people. All the labor was manual. Now, with automation, there are many fewer jobs. As a concession to allow the automation, the Longshoreman’s union reduced the number of jobs, but drastically raised the salary per worker.
This problem is created by the State law the regulates union. What’s the problem? When workers have a State-recognized union and they strike, the employer is forced to hire back all the workers when the strike ends. The employer can’t say “You’re all fired! We’re hiring replacements!”
This reduces the incentive to hire and train replacements. With the legal obligation to hire back strikers, then the replacements must be fired when the strike ends.
Actually, with the ridiculously high contract, the employer could refuse to offer a contract, hire replacements, and then hire back the old workers and pay them to do nothing. That would be one way to reduce the power of the union. The employer would waste the workers’ salaries for a few years, but eventually inflation would erode the value of the salary. After a few years with no contract, the employer can unilaterally impose new rules.
When a union starts making ridiculous demands, the employer should be allowed to fire all of them and hire replacements. Workers should be allowed to quit en masse, but it should also be legal to hire permanent replacements. State law gives the union extra power, due to the requirement that strikers must be hired back when the strike ends.