-By Warner Todd Huston
Apparently the Longshoreman’s union is protesting the Marines. They’ve decided to picket the Marines outside the U.S. Marines Barracks in Washington D.C. to “protest the loss of handling military cargo at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina.” The union is also picketing outside of the Port of Charleston.
Both demonstrations in Washington and the Port of Charleston are to protest the US Marines allowing Portus Stevedoring Company, a Jacksonville-based company, to move its military cargo operation from Jacksonville, Florida to Charleston but bypassing the use of ILA workers in Charleston. The ILA learned that Portus intends to transport members of the International Union of Operating Engineers and, perhaps even non-union workers, aboard the vessel Lewis and Clark, and have these non-ILA members work the ship at Joint Base Charleston beginning on Monday.
The union claims that they’ve lost business because of a decision by the Marines. But, what is really going on, here?
In truth, the Longshormen are protesting the wrong people. You see, it isn’t really the Marines fault because this dispute is actually between two different unions. “Unions” haven’t “lost” any work. The Longshoremen have, but another union is picking up that work.
As it happens this dispute is between the Longshoremen and the International Union of Operating Engineers and it is a dispute that the AFL-CIO is supposed to be resolving. Apparently AFL-CIO President Trumka is failing at that little task.
So, these Longshoremen are protesting the wrong people.
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