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The Effects of Labor Unions

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The Effects of Labor Unions

Article Summary The article I have chosen for the case study is titled “California’s Oranges are Rotting on the Docks”. This article focuses on the efforts of the International Longshore Workers Union to reach an agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association. Negotiations between the two organizations have been proceeding for several months now, since July 2014. The two groups are attempting to iron out details for about 13,500 port workers to increase salaries, improve healthcare, and pension plans. These 13,500 workers span across the pacific coast, covering about 29 ports which serve as primary shipping ports between the United States and Asia. 70% of the United States’ imports and exports with Asia are serviced using the affected ports. The article notes that since negotiations begin, workers have gone on strike, cutting down the amount of hours worked each week. This cut back in labor has caused delays at the ports reducing the amount of goods being imported and exported. Produce has been rotting in shipping containers, meat is being held in freezers, and auto makers are not receiving needed parts. This strike has trickled down, affecting a number of different industries, which have all had to reduce production. Some firms have begun to seek alternative shipping methods, but none are as cost effective as using the Maersk ships carrying 18,000 shipping containers. (www.cnn.money.com) This article focused on a number of concepts which were covered in the course beginning with Labor Unions. Labor Unions were created to act on behalf of all employees and not individuals. Created during a time of high industrialization, labor union memberships have been declining since the 1950’s. (p.305) Labor unions operate as a monopoly, selling its labor resources to firms. If the union does succeed in obtaining higher pay for the port…...

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