West Waft Dockworkers Making $200K Query Greater Pay


By Greg Miller of FreightWaves

West Waft container port operations are being disrupted by a dispute over the dimensions of dockworkers’ subsequent pay broaden, with disruptions now beginning as much as have an ticket on ship operations.

“We purchased a rash of vessel actions canceled in a single day,” acknowledged Kip Louttit, govt director of the Marine Alternate of Southern California, on Wednesday.

Departures of six ships berthed in Los Angeles or Lengthy Seashore had been delayed: the Cosco Portugal, Cosco Oceania, Cosco Delivery Rose, CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci, CSCL Yellow Sea and YM Unicorn. Arrivals of 4 ships to the ports are delayed: the Aitolikos, Cosco Denmark, Cosco Netherlands and Cosco Taicang. Yet one more ship, the MSC Jeongmin, had its arrival in Los Angeles delayed Tuesday.

World Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) dockworkers deal with cargo throughout the West Waft, along with on the foremost container gateways of Los Angeles, Lengthy Seashore and Oakland in California, and Seattle and Tacoma in Washington.


Union pushes for greater wages

The ILWU is worrying wages and benefits within the subsequent five-one yr contract that mirror dockworkers’ function within the COVID-generation import inform, a one-off match that ended closing one yr. The prior contract expired July 1, 2022.

The union cited the lower in member wages and benefits as a share of the revenues of terminal employers and ocean carriers represented by the Pacific Maritime Affiliation (PMA).

ILWU Native 13 acknowledged that “ocean carriers and terminal operators have thumbed their noses on the work energy’s whole requests” after efficiently treating dockworkers’ lives as “expendable within the identify of earnings” proper via the pandemic.

If the story is “grasping employers bewitch discount of American staff,” it’s utterly entertaining to bewitch a extra in-depth peep at what West Waft dockworkers at present make — the beginning degree for pay and benefits they’re in quest of to spice up within the new contract.

Detailed compensation information is printed yearly by the PMA. It reveals that West Waft dockworkers are already just a few of the easiest-paid staff within the nation.

ILWU wages vs. different professions

Corpulent-time registered longshore staff earned an widespread of $197,514 in 2022, now now not along with benefits, based mostly totally on the PMA. Clerks earned an widespread of $220,042 and foremen and strolling bosses averaged $306,291. (Corpulent time is printed as working 2,000 hours or extra per one yr, or 38.4 hours per week.)

The PMA additionally paid $100,534 per ILWU registrant in benefits prices. Advantages embody beefy insurance coverage safety, a 401(okay) and a pension with a most yearly retirement discount of $95,460.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles information on widespread annual wages by career. West Waft dockworkers unpleasant in path of the tip when as compared with the authorities stats.

Corpulent-time dock foremen earned 24% greater than the frequent CEO’s rude wage in 2022 and 20% greater than neurologists. ILWU clerks earned entertaining $5,600 per one yr lower than airline pilots. Corpulent-time dockworkers got here in 21% greater than attorneys and 9% above dentists.

Common earnings in 2022 for all beefy-time ILWU registrants — $211,000 — had been 3.4 occasions greater than the frequent wage for all professions calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The caveat on the PMA information is {that a} portion of union registrants are beneath the beefy-time threshold. Of longshore staff, 42% labored lower than 2,000 hours in 2022. Nearly all of longshore staff (along with non-beefy-time staff) earned within the $100,000-$200,000 differ.

Amongst clerks, 19% labored lower than 2,000 hours, with whole earnings bunched within the $150,000-$225,000 differ. Of strolling bosses and foremen, utterly 10% did now now not meet the beefy-time definition. Salaries had been grouped within the $250,000-$325,000 differ. Some foremen earned over $400,000 and some topped a half of-million.


How ILWU earnings are calculated

The widespread 2022 ILWU registrant rude charge — $46.23 per hour — doesn’t sound that steep for knowledgeable labor. However as a result of the PMA outlined in its annual memoir, employee earnings additionally embody a further issue based mostly totally on capacity degree. Talent bonuses differ from $2.40 to $5.80 per hour and had been added in 80.7% of hours paid closing one yr.

Pay additionally will enhance for the 2nd shift (eight hours beginning at 6 p.m.) and third shift (5 hours beginning at 2: 30 a.m.) to $61 to $83 per hour. Work on these shifts accounted for 38.5% of complete hours paid closing one yr.

Then there may be time past pointers, which accounted for 36.4% of hours paid in 2022. Time past pointers pay fees differ from $69 to $93 per hour. Altogether, the PMA acknowledged the consequences of expertise bonuses, work shifts and time past pointers introduced the environment friendly widespread charge for all hours paid to $64.10.

COVID was yet another key ingredient. The ILWU labor energy was very foremost to conserving items flowing proper via the pandemic, regardless of dangers to the dockworkers’ efficiently being. Not lower than 43 union members died of COVID, based mostly totally on the ILWU.

The change in shopper conduct proper via the pandemic resulted in a flood of cargo into West Waft ports that continued via the foremost half of of closing one yr, mountain mountaineering each straight hours (non-time past pointers) and time past pointers.

The PMA paid ILWU registrants in any respect U.S. West Waft ports complete wages of $2.31 billion in 2022, up $371 million or 19% versus 2019, pre-pandemic. The environment friendly hourly charge rose 7% over the three-one yr size. Straight time was 22,895,230 hours in 2022, up 8% from 2019. Time past pointers got here in at 13,084,540 hours, up 16%.



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