Port Shutdown

Thursday October 03, 2002

Port shutdown,  

by the numbers: 

n 29 ports affected in California, Washington and Oregon. 

n Employers estimate cost to the economy at $1 billion a day. 

(President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Robert Parry estimates $2 million if no resolution by Thursday.) 

n 10,500 union members 

n Full-time longshoremen earn an average $80,000 a year; the most experienced foremen average $167,000. 

The issues: 

n PMA wants to introduce new computers, sensors and scanners that would help track and move containers through the ports more quickly.  

The upgrades would eliminate some positions, although the PMA said no current employees would lose their jobs. 

The ILWU wants all jobs created by the new technology to be unionized; the PMA wants the right to control any new jobs result from new technology. 

n The ILWU wants to maintain 100 percent health coverage. The PMA initially sought to cut back benefits, saying costs had risen too quickly.  

It later agreed to maintain full coverage but tied the concessions to an agreement on technology.