Restrictive Labor Practices in Seaports
47 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: October 31, 1990
Containerization and modern bulk handling methods can substantially increase ship and labor productivity. This paper argues that many ports have failed to change their labor practices and to accept the inevitable reduction in their labor force that technological advances call for. Those ports are doubly penalized by incurring investment costs and continuing to pay labor as if earlier labor-intensive methods still applied. The author analyzes limits on entry to work in the port, an exclusive definition of dock work, job demarcation to prevent interchanging labor, work-sharing requirements within groups that prevent specialization, work-extending practices, restrictive work hours, and restrictions on output. The paper then analyzes how restrictive practices increase shipping costs and how employment would be affected if these practices were abolished. Examples of three approaches to abolishing restrictive practices are given.
Keywords: Transport and Trade Logistics, Common Carriers Industry, Transport Security, Work & Working Conditions, Ports & Waterways
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