Ron Brinson: Maersk asked too much, but unions share some blame

Ron Brinson writes in today's Post and Courier about the ongoing troubles between Charleston's ports, its unions, and Maersk. In part:
Maersk is well-managed with understandable cost control objectives. But it also has a master International Longshoremen's Association contract that applies to East and Gulf Coast operations, and its direct blaming of the local union seems a bit harsh. Union locals have certain "flexibilities," but they have to protect their local franchise and the "field" of union brothers at other ports. Union leaders can't always be as nimble as trucking companies or port authorities in responding to a carrier's demands. We shouldn't be surprised to learn one day that Maersk's demands on Charleston's unions were considered at top levels of the ILA.

Brinson then goes on to be critical of the ILA's lack of involvement with Charleston's businesses at the local level.

If you're not fully immersed in Maersk's promise to leave Charleston's ports by 2010, Brinson's piece gives loads of added context.

Go read it.

Brinson was the president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans for 17 years.

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