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US dock strike unlikely to be repeated

Monday, February 23, 2015

Significance

The slowdown led to extreme backlogs at the ports, which are responsible for about 45.0% of containerised cargo in the United States and goods representing 12.5% of GDP. Importers and exporters are concerned that the tactic of an economically-damaging slowdown or complete work stoppage may be repeated at the end of the contract, or at ports on the East or Gulf Coasts.

Impacts

  • The economic impact of the slowdown is calculated to have cost GDP one percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2014.
  • State actions against unions will provide case studies for examining their impact on wage levels.
  • The segmentation of the US economy has made low-income workers suited for greater unionisation.
  • However, they are also most vulnerable to employer action and less able to withstand strikes.
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