Best Union Fail

City Paper

It certainly was a high-profile move, the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 333 declaring a stevedore’s strike that paralyzed shipping at two Port of Baltimore marine terminals for a few days last fall. But it backfired completely. Not only did it not force employers to consider more favorable labor-contract terms—the deadlock on a new contract continues—but it was a blatant violation of the union’s existing contract with shippers, who now are trying to hold Local 333 responsible for nearly $4 million in damages. Now, the Local is trying to get the damages removed as part of contract negotiations, but the shippers aren’t budging, saying they’ve made their best and final offer. Rather than bolster workers’ standing, the union seems to be undermining it.

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