McLaughlin, Francis M.
January 1967
ILR Review;Jan67, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p221
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the development of labor peace in the port of Boston. Relationship between longshoremen and their employers in the Port of Boston from 1932 to 1954 could not have been much worse than they were. Inability to reach agreement resulted in parties working without a contract from September 1935 until December 1950. The 1950 contract expired within ten months and relations slipped back into the old pattern of discord until February 1954. Although difficult problems remain, labor relations have improved considerably since then and Boston has become a port where a substantial degree of labor peace prevails. There are approximately 1,000 union longshoremen in Boston who belong to three local unions of the International Longshoremen's Association. The principal advantage, which union membership confers is preference in hiring. An understanding of the economic interest of the ship operator in quick cargo handling is crucial to understanding much of the past history of relations between Boston longshoremen and their employers. For the ship operator, time spent in port is unproductive since it is not time spent carrying cargo and earning revenue. This fact confers considerable economic power upon the longshoremen in day-to-day operations.


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