◎ 船隻過蘇伊士運河一景(來源取自於CMA CGM Magazine)
West coast slowdown (Trade Winds 2008/1/23)
America’s west coast dockers were recently named the eighth most over-paid workers in the US, ranking one spot above major airline pilots. Their employers will have no doubt noted, with little surprise, the dockers’ inclusion in Career Journal’s list of the top 10 over-paid jobs ranked by pay and effort as they prepare for critical talks on a new multi-year contract. The current contract, which expires on 1 July this year, was negotiated with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) after a 10-day shutdown of the terminals on the west coast in September 2002 which cost the US economy $10bn.
This time around the economic backdrop is dark as the US, hit by the credit crisis, is heading into a recession, while the west coast terminals are suffering from stagnating or falling imports.The employers’ group, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), whose members include major lines APL, Evergreen, Hanjin and Hapag-Lloyd, says average full-time wages for fully-registered workers are more than $138,000 a year, with a $48,000-a year benefits package. Union foremen can earn over $200,000, while in 2006 clerks earned on average $145,219 and longshoremen $127,304, according to PMA statistics. The figures are even higher than those used by Career Journal which quotes $112,000 for cargo-handlers, $136,000 for clerks and $177,000 for foremen, compared with $250,000 for senior captains at airlines like Delta.
The ILWU itself admits its members have “the best-paying blue-collar jobs in America”, but would contest, the inclusion in the over-paid league table.The union will finalise its priorities for the contract negotiations early next month but has already indicated it will be looking to protect health and retirement benefits and for action on improving safety after several deaths and injuries in the terminals last year.
It has also campaigned against the risks to the health of its members and the public from “toxic” emissions from ships using the terminals.
美國工會的強悍是眾所皆知的，而PMA(指由貨櫃航運公司們所組成的會員聯盟)與國際碼頭與貨棧工人聯盟(International Longshore and Warehouse Union，簡稱ILWU)，所簽訂的契約將在今年的七月一日到期。在美國處於不景氣疑慮與進口貨量(美國購買力的參考資訊)近幾個月減少的情況之下，此合約的談判將是影響今年各貨櫃航運公司下半年美國線之西部航線經營成本的重要因素之一。其ILWU會員在美國藍領職業上，其薪水待遇是屬一屬二的高；此職業可是美國十大over-paid職業中排行第八的唷！根據貨櫃船公司們指出，登記在案的全職雇員其薪水一年可領USD:138000，加上一年津貼USD:48000；根據PMA在2006年的統計，ILWU中擔任工頭的雇員，一年薪水還超過USD:200000唷。
資料來源節錄自：2008/1/23 Trade Winds