I'd do better working in New Jersey's ports than I would writing books - by more than an order of magnitude!
ON THE WATERFRONT, there’s a longshoreman on the books who washes trucks.
He gets paid $465,981 a year. To wash trucks.
Fired when his bosses discovered he wasn’t actually showing up when he claimed to be working, he nevertheless regained his job—after an arbitrator concluded it was not unusual in the industry for employees to be paid “without being expected to work all the hours for which they are being paid.”
. . .
Part of the reason for those high labor costs, claim waterfront regulators and federal prosecutors, include $117 million in lucrative pay packages that go to more than 400 longshoremen in New Jersey and New York, some of whom are never, ever officially off the clock, every day of the year.
The top 100 dockworkers alone at the marine terminals on both sides of the river each get more than $300,000 a year, according to salary data obtained through public records requests by NJ Advance Media.
One makes $516,996, based on an hourly rate that pays him 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through a formula of straight time, overtime, double-time, as well as weekend and holiday pay. Another, who works as a timekeeper, is paid every hour that any union member is working. He received $513,382 last year.
The pay scales are all set in the dockworker union's collective bargaining agreement. But in March, longshoreman Paul Moe Sr., who made $493,029 a year, was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison for submitting false timesheets. While he was also paid for every hour of the day, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark said he was required to at least be physically at the job at least 40 hours a week.
Investigators who followed him testified that he was often seen fishing on his boat in Atlantic Highlands, at the movies, at home or on vacation in Florida or Aruba when his timesheets indicated he was at work.
When a dockworker prepared to testify against him, a not-so-subtle message was left for him. A plastic rat was placed on his front porch, federal prosecutors disclosed in court.
. . .
In an interview, Walter Arsenault, the commission’s executive director, charged that the union’s ranks are replete with high-paying no-show or low-show jobs. Many, he said, go to insiders, relatives and friends.
“Why do we have a port where special deals are made?” asked Arsenault, a former assistant district attorney who once headed the Manhattan District Attorney’s elite special homicide unit. “That’s the question.”
ILA officials declined comment. But during a 2010 hearing on hiring practices at the marine terminals, Harold Daggett, now president of the union, defended the salaries paid to his members.
"I wish all the members earned more than $400,000," said Daggett. "Forget about $400,000. That's not a lot of money today. These guys work their asses off out there."
Daggett himself makes more than $400,000. As president of the national union, he is paid $523,566, according to filings with the Department of Labor. As president emeritus of Local 1804 in New Jersey, he is paid another $156,781, for a total $680,347.
There's more at the link.
And all those grossly inflated salaries are paid by the businesses who ship goods into and out of those ports . . . and they pass on those costs to us in the form of higher prices. Consumers in middle America are paying for union feather-bedding in New Jersey.
Rope. Dockyard cranes. Tar. Feathers. Union workers and leaders. Some assembly required.