East Coast Dockworkers' Strike Could Slam Economy
Union threatens action starting Sunday
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 27, 2012 7:23 AM CST
In this Friday, July 13, 2012 photo, a container is loaded onto a ship from China at Massport's Conley Terminal in the port of Boston.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

(Newser) – Some 14,500 dockworkers are ready to walk out on strike Sunday, and it could shutter ports from Boston to Houston and choke the US economy big-time. The longshoremen are "in a crucial place in the flow of goods," says one professor; New York and New Jersey officials say a strike could drain the region to the tune of $110 million in economic output and $136 million per week in personal income, the New York Times reports.

The International Longshoremen's Association is fighting the United States Maritime Alliance, a trade group, over what are known as "container royalty payments." Those payments, in place since the 1960s, amount to about $10 per hour for the workers. The Maritime Alliance holds that the longshoremen make some $124,000 a year, including benefits, while the union says members make more like $75,000, though that doesn't include benefits. "Unless something miraculous happens, I think we’re looking at a strike," says a clothing industry rep. Some 100 industry organizations aren't taking that threat lightly, and have called on President Obama to push for a settlement; the White House weighed in on Thursday.

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DanGallagher
Dec 28, 2012 7:49 AM CST
$75,000 - $124,000 a year? POOR GUYS! How do they live on that? Are they on food stamps? Practically working for free - that's insane... Seriously though - SHUT THE PORTS DOWN. Going over fiscal cliff, our credit rating has been tanked, economy still stumbling. Just shut it all down. Obama doesn't have the guts to step in and force them back to work, so the economy will keep faltering. But this works out well! The govt already took our right to privacy, right to speech, our money - divided us amongst ourselves... Now they take the guns and blammo - there truly is no stopping them! As you laugh and call me a nutjob - read up on the history of Nazi Germany or the Amenian Genocide in Turkey.
Wrongdirection
Dec 27, 2012 11:37 AM CST
As Newster's Headline says. Could Slam Economy.. exactly who's economy is this they are speaking of? China's! I think every Person Union or otherwise, have a job, and to make a decent wage for that job per any joint agreement, past, present and future! I walk into stores and see prices that have increased on items at the rate of 100% over the past year. Fuel drops, Fuel increases, Fuel drops, No Matter the claimed causes, It's somehow giving merchants justification to keep increasing their prices! The people will revolt at a given point! It's a given Fact! Are these people justified in wanting more pay? To Me, Everyone at present time needs to be getting double pay from what they are getting today. Lets play the money increase game like the merchants! Buy U.S.A. Good luck. I hope you get your money!
guest-comment
Dec 27, 2012 9:41 AM CST
Fantastic!! If the thieving CEOs have a right to BIG bucks, then hard-working dock workers - who earn a fraction of what CEOs steal from the workers - and at least WORK for their wages and have a right to decent returns for honest hard work. This article is filled with brainwashed corporate-embedded journalist scare tactics - supporting the efforts of the autocratic corporate oligarchy.