NOW WHAT

What a masterful accomplishment in apparently ending the labor dispute at the West Coast ports. The Administration sends out the Secretary of Labor and all of a sudden everything solved. Was this a stroke of genius? I think perhaps that the impact on the US economy and the revelation of what the dock workers are paid, how much they actually work and what their productivity is on international standard, was beginning to hit the headlines.

Of course the Administration's voter base is very much with organized labor, but perhaps the embarrassment was starting to take its toll. So now just what we have is that negotiations that have been going on for many months are now solved with very minor tweaking of the basic agreement that was already subscribe to.

Most people cannot imagine working roughly 1000 hours a year for an average pay of $150,000 (on average), with full health care and the pension that is extremely generous.

Do not get me wrong, these are good people and they have only receive the benefits that they have worked for over the years. What is sad is that the employers have little vision and have given in over several decades and now find themselves continuing to pay the piper.

Most of the containers from United States to Asia are empty and those that carry cargo are full of, mostly, raw materials such as rags and remnants, scrap paper and the like. The ocean freight for this group of raw materials, depending on the season, can run from $250-$500 per container. The cost of moving these same containers the 300 or 400 yards from the terminal to the ship is in the area of $450-$600 per container. Now why would a shipping company do something like this? It is kind of like being at a bus stop and the bus stops at your feet and you see the buses only half full and so you say to the bus driver, "you are going my way, the bus is mostly empty, so why can I ride it for free?"

If the general public only knew the "nitty-gritty" of what really was going on in this industry there would be an uproar!