Good Wages, By Contrast

Good Wages, By Contrast

Copyright 2002, Traffic World Magazine

Traffic World's editorial ("By the Sea," Aug. 19) has a problem with how much some longshore workers get paid and how little news professionals are compensated. Clayton Boyce's flippant and one-sided column is an insult to all transportation workers who simply want to exercise their collective bargaining rights. It also reads like a press release by the Pacific Maritime Association. I guess Mr. Boyce has decided there's only one side to this story.

The wages and benefits currently paid on our docks were arrived at the old-fashioned way - through collective bargaining. As of this writing, both parties are currently negotiating a new West Coast port contract. Reaching a good deal for both sides in these private talks won't be achieved any easier by Traffic World's venom about the compensation levels of port employees. A new agreement also will be difficult to reach if the PMA and their corporate allies like Wal-Mart keep stoking the fire for White House interference.

ILWU members have a right to bargaining collectively. They should be allowed to do so without heavy-handed government intrusion. And regarding Mr. Boyce's quip about his low wages "after 25 years in the news business" - looks like a union voice at work would help.

Edward Wytkind

Executive Director

Transportation Trades

Department, AFL-CIO