Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Labor's Losers Cause Trouble In Logistics

If there's one thing you can count on hearing from union laborers, it's a never-ending stream of demands to be coddled and lionized.  That old saw is appropriate after a quick scan of today's logistics-related headlines. 

Here we have those greedy, corrupt Teamsters preparing to demand reinstatement of YRC Worldwide's pension contributions that they so wisely surrendered last year:

The Teamsters union will hold a national conference call Tuesday for its members at YRC Worldwide on the company's "re-entry" into its multiemployer pension plans. 

How and when the nation's largest trucker re-enters those plans is a critical issue for YRC as it struggles with rising operating costs and falling liquidity.

YRCW's position ought to be clear:  No reinstatements until we're clearly and sustainably (IMHO minimum three quarters) profitable, got it Teamsters?  Clueless union leaders need to wake up and realize that YRCW's avoidance of funding those pensions (along with its potential 3PL ventures) may be one of the few things keeping it out of bankruptcy.  Drivers ought to be grateful they have any jobs at all in this economy without pining for a return to the salad days of yesteryear.  If unions don't like their meager pensions and salaries, well that's just too darn bad.  I'm sure plenty of illegal immigrants would love to drive their trucks for $5 an hour under the table while they save money by living ten to a room.  Sheesh.  I have zero sympathy for these union knuckleheads. 

If that isn't enough to get me riled up, check out this dandy.  Office clerks at ports want to renew their cushy labor contracts:

The contract covering about 950 office clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach expires at midnight Wednesday, and it does not appear that an agreement will be reached by the deadline.

Office clerical workers process bookings and other documentation at marine terminals in the port complex. The OCU is affiliated with ILWU Local 63, the marine clerks division, but office clerical workers have a separate contract.

Check out how much these glorified interns make in the above article:  $80,000 per year!  That's outrageously high.  Are unions playing some kind of sick joke on businesses by demanding more pay than their skills deserve?  It is unconscionable to this writer that office clerks, secretaries, administrative assistants, coffee fetchers, and other minimally skilled drones in dead-end jobs make twice what an entry-level college graduate makes.  The Pacific Maritime Association's position ought to be clear:  If you have an entry-level skill set, you get to collect an entry-level wage.  I'll bet the PMA could find hundreds of underemployed UCLA and USC grads who'd be happy to make half what these unionized jerks make for the same menial work, so they won't have any trouble at all breaking a strike.  Go ahead and break it! 

I for one am sick and tired of reading about workers with entry-level skill sets demanding middle-class wages.  Truck drivers and secretaries simply do not add as much economic or social value as accountants or engineers, but they unfortunately think so thanks to many decades of indulgence by an entitlement culture.  These mouth-breathing slobs need to get over their greed and materialism.  They should realize that global labor arbitrage is quickly revealing the true worth of their services.  Wages in low-skill jobs are being arbitraged down and no amount of trade protectionism or union obstructionism is going to stop it. 

CEOs of the world, unite!  We have nothing to lose but that chain around our earnings known as "unionized labor."

Full disclosure:  Anthony J. Alfidi, our glorious CEO, has thankfully never belonged to a union because he has far more important ways of making a meaningful contribution to civilization.