We need to open the contract to address the inflation crisis.
FIFTEEN PERCENT NOW !
Sisters and Brothers of the ILA,
As you know, we've had the same contract for 10 years now. We've had, essentially, the same skills differentials for 18 years. As you'll see, the so called raises we received totaling $5 in 9 years have not only NOT been raises, they haven't even kept us at the water line with respect to inflation.
As an example, in NY/NJ, a crane operator's differential is plus $2.50 and has remained unchanged since at least 2004. In May 2022, adjusted for inflation, that would be $3.83*. Call it $4. In October 2017 the top straight time rate was $35. Today it should be $41.48*; again, round up to $42. Just to squeak past inflation, a crane operator would have to earn about $46 an hour straight time. Our straight time rate is $37 + $2.50 = $39.50.
For straight time wages to just break even we would need about a 14% increase. With crane differential it's about 16%. Call it 15%. That translates into over $10,000 in lost straight time wages alone. Or to look at it another way, you are loosing a month of your life to spend with family and friends assuming you work 200 days - 15% of 200 is 30.
By the expiration of our contract in 2024 we could easily be looking at a 20% increase just to break even, and, that's without addressing the fact we won't have had a raise, effectively, in 12 years. Let's deal with the inflation crisis now and the raise in 2024. Therefore it's essential that we immedeately enter into emergency negotiations to make us whole. The companies are shoveling in the profits.
Contact your officers and demand the ILA enter into emergency negotiations, in exactly the same way as when the pandemic first hit. Demand an emergency Cost Of Living Adjustment of 15% and the introduction of a permanent COLA Clause going forward for all future contracts. We deserve no less.
The Longshore Workers Coalition
July 10 th, 2022
*These are calculated using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) CPI-U Database.