One of the best blue collar jobs in the US


vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
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Midlife, Midwest
West Coast longshoremen earn an annual average salary of $142,000 plus $82,000 in benefits. Who needs college debt?
On the other hand, it is probably considerably more competitive to get into the Los Angeles or Long Beach Longshoreman's Union than it is to get accepted to Harvard or Stanford.

Stanford's Freshman class in 2015 will probably be around 1700 students. How many new members of the ILWU do you think there will be?
 

DonJudgeMe

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2014
123
2
Arizona
West Coast longshoremen earn an annual average salary of $142,000 plus $82,000 in benefits. Who needs college debt?
Do you have a link? Why is this here?

In other words, as long as you don't mind being handicapped after 20 years of work this is great! Do you have any idea how physically demanding unloading trucks at Walmart is, let alone unloading a ship? Yeah, no thanks. Been there, screw that.
 
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aaronvan

Suspended
Dec 21, 2011
1,349
9,287
República Cascadia
I wanted to run one of those giant cranes that unload containers on the docks at the Port of Tacoma. It's very easy:

1) Get a job on the dock.
2) Join the Longshoreman's Union.
3) Wait twenty years for your turn.

On the other hand, I tried to convince my nephew into going to trade school become a machinist. Those are good jobs and many of them will never be outsourced. In fact, I'm thinking of doing that myself.
 

senseless

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 23, 2008
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Pennsylvania, USA
Do you have a link? Why is this here?

In other words, as long as you don't mind being handicapped after 20 years of work this is great! Do you have any idea how physically demanding unloading trucks at Walmart is, let alone unloading a ship? Yeah, no thanks. Been there, screw that.
It's been in the news because of contract negotiations and work slowdowns. Yes, I'm sure it's extremely hard work.
 

aaronvan

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Dec 21, 2011
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9,287
República Cascadia
Everything I know about longshoreman I learned from "On the Waterfront."

Charlie: Look, kid, I - how much you weigh, son? When you weighed one hundred and sixty-eight pounds you were beautiful. You coulda been another Billy Conn, and that skunk we got you for a manager, he brought you along too fast.

Terry: It wasn't him, Charley, it was you. Remember that night in the Garden you came down to my dressing room and you said, "Kid, this ain't your night. We're going for the price on Wilson." You remember that? "This ain't your night"! My night! I coulda taken Wilson apart! So what happens? He gets the title shot outdoors on the ballpark and what do I get? A one-way ticket to Palooka-ville! You was my brother, Charley, you shoulda looked out for me a little bit. You shoulda taken care of me just a little bit so I wouldn't have to take them dives for the short-end money.

Charlie: Oh I had some bets down for you. You saw some money.

Terry: You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charley.
 

giantfan1224

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
869
1,093
On the other hand, it is probably considerably more competitive to get into the Los Angeles or Long Beach Longshoreman's Union than it is to get accepted to Harvard or Stanford.

Stanford's Freshman class in 2015 will probably be around 1700 students. How many new members of the ILWU do you think there will be?
The truck drivers strike that affected the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports last year and also other seemingly endless threats of more strikes and slowdowns has really put a hurt on manufacturing businesses that has forced them to now look at using other ports to get raw goods from overseas. It will be interesting to see how long and if that line of work--and the ports themselves--continue to be as lucrative.
 

xmichaelp

macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2012
1,806
625
Do you have a link? Why is this here?

In other words, as long as you don't mind being handicapped after 20 years of work this is great! Do you have any idea how physically demanding unloading trucks at Walmart is, let alone unloading a ship? Yeah, no thanks. Been there, screw that.
Every once in a while I think about the money you can make doing something like this and then I remember how miserable it is. My dad was a construction worker and my step brothers do construction and welding. I've also worked on two houses, one in Minnesota summer and one is Minnesota winter. No thanks.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,605
More and more unions are losing the bargaining battles. If you're not already in a union working for a company, chances are you're not going to have the good contracts like someone 10 yrs or more senior on the job.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
best blue collar job

Neighbor's sewer line cost seven grand, five to sewer line people and two grand to certified sewer camera person. That was 45 minutes of work and they had four houses to hit that day. You have to get trained and certified here by licensed camera operator and man I knew had this in family business. He went out to make half a mil a year (before expenses) and got hurt before first gig and had to give it up. Talk about hard luck. I felt just plain sick for the poor dude.

I guess that's what it must feel like for a teen to get to minor league team, pitch like crazy in AAA, then get to majors and throw out arm in first week never to play again.

Of course camera and screen in computerized truck do cost money and they looked like TV camera crew truck and it's not as if they sell those cheap at the car dealership, but still.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Neighbor's sewer line cost seven grand, five to sewer line people and two grand to certified sewer camera person. That was 45 minutes of work and they had four houses to hit that day. You have to get trained and certified here by licensed camera operator and man I knew had this in family business.
To work with the sewer, they'd have to pay at least that much, otherwise no one would do it. I have personal experience with this. About a month back, my sewer line backed up. For some weird, dumb, completely unknown reason, the backup valve pours straight onto the floor in my basement. Don't ask me why. The house was built back in the 30's, and the basement looks like the set for a snuff film. Comfort and cleanliness obviously wasn't a big concern back then.

But anyway, I had to borrow a snake, and clean the thing out myself. The smell was....damn. I had to stand in ankle high "water", wearing rubber galoshes, running about 80 foot of a flat metal line with two big wheels on the end down this tube in my basement floor to knock out a blockage near the street. I was doing alright at first. Then I saw the toilet paper float by. It was all white and gauzy.

Like eggdrop soup.

But brown.

It wasn't a pleasant experience.
 

LizKat

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2004
5,324
29,834
Catskill Mountains
More and more unions are losing the bargaining battles. If you're not already in a union working for a company, chances are you're not going to have the good contracts like someone 10 yrs or more senior on the job.
Or you're not going to have the same odds of getting the job in the first place because 2/3 of them are outsourced.

(Reuters via NYT) United Airlines to Cut About 1,150 Jobs at 16 U.S.Airports

One of the best blue collar jobs is also aviation support... Cost me $50 to fly to Hong Kong
It is a good job. I hope you can keep it! The trouble with an ever-increasing number of jobs now is that owners think of labor as a cost, period. Cost of hiring, cost of training, cost of benefits, cost of perks good enough to keep someone from leaving, cost, cost, cost. So they cut, cut, cut. They've long since run out of fat and cut into muscle and now think of bone -- the very foundations of their business-- as optional until "just in time", even in the face of evidence that "just in time" is sometimes too late, not good enough, etc.

When I get on an airplane two years from now will the baggage handlers be union contract, non-union contract, outsourced subcontract, or just a pile of machinery that someone has been trained to call tech support to debug whenever there's a loud grinding noise and the line shuts down? Will consumers just get used to that? Are we already practically there?

More important to me, when I get on an airplane two years from now will it have been refueled by someone using equipment that has been inspected on a regular basis, repaired per spec? Or will this equipment be like, say, the trucks that deliver propane to customers in Mexico, with bolts ready to shear off, hoses fixed with Teflon tape...

(AP via NYT) Mexico: Bad Bolts on Gas Tanker Led to Blast That Killed 5 at Hospital

I'd really like to know where we draw the line with all this cost cutting, not only on parts but on labor. Every time we cut a cost, we cut a job somewhere. Every time we cut a job we reduce people's ability to pay for quality goods.

Every time we get used to lower guality goods at the same price, we send a message back to the owners of industry that hey, it's all good. Every time we object to lower quality goods and demand lower prices, we send a message that hey, the stuff isn't selling, chop the price and fire some people, get those costs down.

But the next round of cost cuts means our job is gone and then the price doesn't matter any more, nor does quality of goods; whatever it is, we can't buy it. When we can't buy it, whoever makes it goes out of business. Doesn't matter if they're in Brooklyn or Beijing.

I'd like to think the 20- and 30-somethings of today can kick this gravedigging habit of industry and scale up sustainable ways of making a living. I'm an optimist so I have to discount my hopes sometimes. But I know that bad news sells papers, and good news mostly only makes it when someone's Kickstarter project has got funded. Every day there are millions of people doing great work at productive, interesting jobs that afford a decent living, and thousands of people who are deciding to start their own business and so creating some more of those jobs. Maybe we need a "bright spot" on the front page of national media, not just as often featured on page one of our remaining hometown newspapers.

In the meantime I find it disturbing that union contract negotiations so often result in the union doing givebacks on wages or benefits for retained workers in exchange for the company not outsourcing the whole gig. Similarly I'm appalled that even in the face of industrial accidents at refineries, on pipelines, in derailments etc., industry still lobbies against what they call "over regulation" when it comes to safety and ecological concerns, and manages to get slap-on-wrist fines even when they add up to billions of dollars over time (and during repeated offenses).

It used to be two steps forward, one back. Some days now it kinda looks like the whole thing is sliding into the sea. I must count on the nextgen to buck the tide because my generation is most assuredly not getting it done. We need younger politicians who understand that the foundations of a healthy economy are blue collar jobs that pay well and are stable. That is what makes a middle class. My generation is not about that any more, even though we drew the benefit of coming from that background. We've forgotten how to grow what we all live on.
 

Muscle Master

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2010
582
113
Philadelphia
One of the best blue collar jobs in the US

Or you're not going to have the same odds of getting the job in the first place because 2/3 of them are outsourced.



(Reuters via NYT) United Airlines to Cut About 1,150 Jobs at 16 U.S.Airports







It is a good job. I hope you can keep it! The trouble with an ever-increasing number of jobs now is that owners think of labor as a cost, period. Cost of hiring, cost of training, cost of benefits, cost of perks good enough to keep someone from leaving, cost, cost, cost. So they cut, cut, cut. They've long since run out of fat and cut into muscle and now think of bone -- the very foundations of their business-- as optional until "just in time", even in the face of evidence that "just in time" is sometimes too late, not good enough, etc.



When I get on an airplane two years from now will the baggage handlers be union contract, non-union contract, outsourced subcontract, or just a pile of machinery that someone has been trained to call tech support to debug whenever there's a loud grinding noise and the line shuts down? Will consumers just get used to that? Are we already practically there?



More important to me, when I get on an airplane two years from now will it have been refueled by someone using equipment that has been inspected on a regular basis, repaired per spec? Or will this equipment be like, say, the trucks that deliver propane to customers in Mexico, with bolts ready to shear off, hoses fixed with Teflon tape...



(AP via NYT) Mexico: Bad Bolts on Gas Tanker Led to Blast That Killed 5 at Hospital



I'd really like to know where we draw the line with all this cost cutting, not only on parts but on labor. Every time we cut a cost, we cut a job somewhere. Every time we cut a job we reduce people's ability to pay for quality goods.



Every time we get used to lower guality goods at the same price, we send a message back to the owners of industry that hey, it's all good. Every time we object to lower quality goods and demand lower prices, we send a message that hey, the stuff isn't selling, chop the price and fire some people, get those costs down.



But the next round of cost cuts means our job is gone and then the price doesn't matter any more, nor does quality of goods; whatever it is, we can't buy it. When we can't buy it, whoever makes it goes out of business. Doesn't matter if they're in Brooklyn or Beijing.



I'd like to think the 20- and 30-somethings of today can kick this gravedigging habit of industry and scale up sustainable ways of making a living. I'm an optimist so I have to discount my hopes sometimes. But I know that bad news sells papers, and good news mostly only makes it when someone's Kickstarter project has got funded. Every day there are millions of people doing great work at productive, interesting jobs that afford a decent living, and thousands of people who are deciding to start their own business and so creating some more of those jobs. Maybe we need a "bright spot" on the front page of national media, not just as often featured on page one of our remaining hometown newspapers.



In the meantime I find it disturbing that union contract negotiations so often result in the union doing givebacks on wages or benefits for retained workers in exchange for the company not outsourcing the whole gig. Similarly I'm appalled that even in the face of industrial accidents at refineries, on pipelines, in derailments etc., industry still lobbies against what they call "over regulation" when it comes to safety and ecological concerns, and manages to get slap-on-wrist fines even when they add up to billions of dollars over time (and during repeated offenses).



It used to be two steps forward, one back. Some days now it kinda looks like the whole thing is sliding into the sea. I must count on the nextgen to buck the tide because my generation is most assuredly not getting it done. We need younger politicians who understand that the foundations of a healthy economy are blue collar jobs that pay well and are stable. That is what makes a middle class. My generation is not about that any more, even though we drew the benefit of coming from that background. We've forgotten how to grow what we all live on.

Believe me.. I feel your pain, I don't mean to sound like a typical liberal but companies and or people that are 1%ters needs to just stop caring about profits (which is the goal of every company) and start looking at the larger picture. A company is just as good as its employees. I wear my American Airlines uniform with pride. I loves this industry so much I even went back to school on my own dime to become a license A&P Mechanic so I can do more for my company and further my career.

Now reread what I just said... Sounds like I care about my company a lot right? When **** hits the fan and the company starts losing money, where do they start "trimming the fat"? I get laid off, along with a thousand others with a snap of a finger without care while the corporate execs get paid thousands, if not millions... It's just not fair and is what's wrong with corporate America today
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,747
4,885
Now reread what I just said... Sounds like I care about my company a lot right? When **** hits the fan and the company starts losing money, where do they start "trimming the fat"? I get laid off, along with a thousand others with a snap of a finger without care while the corporate execs get paid thousands, if not millions... It's just not fair and is what's wrong with corporate America today
Just got an email today. My company's recent stock losses translate to $100,000,000 and they are up every department's ass to trim costs...also known as fire people.

Mind you, the executives that made stupid decisions that resulted in the 5% drop continue like nothing happened. It's pretty disgusting.
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
Just got an email today. My company's recent stock losses translate to $100,000,000 and they are up every department's ass to trim costs...also known as fire people.

Mind you, the executives that made stupid decisions that resulted in the 5% drop continue like nothing happened. It's pretty disgusting.
Isn't this pretty much American Economics in a nutshell? And people wonder why people like me rail against it.
 

TPadden

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2010
628
218
Do you have a link? Why is this here?

In other words, as long as you don't mind being handicapped after 20 years of work this is great! Do you have any idea how physically demanding unloading trucks at Walmart is, let alone unloading a ship? Yeah, no thanks. Been there, screw that.
My son works the docks Long Beach ...... where do you get your info; everything has been containerized for years. The work may involve danger of something dropping on you but it is anything but physically demanding.

From the non-union side:
http://youtu.be/FKv-T2zP7w8
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
My son works the docks Long Beach ...... where do you get your info; everything has been containerized for years. The work may involve danger of something dropping on you but it is anything but physically demanding.

From the non-union side:
http://youtu.be/FKv-T2zP7w8
Oddly, the guy in this video doesn't say what it is the union wants. If they aren't taking such a lucrative increase offered by the PMA, then what is it that they DO want? Or is there something not being said here? Listening to the union side, the PMA is wanting to cut the workforce drastically and isn't repairing the vehicles needed to do the work. That would easily cause a disruption, and isn't something the workers are going to blindly accept, even with the pay increase.

So, which side is "right"?
 

TPadden

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2010
628
218
Oddly, the guy in this video doesn't say what it is the union wants. If they aren't taking such a lucrative increase offered by the PMA, then what is it that they DO want? Or is there something not being said here? Listening to the union side, the PMA is wanting to cut the workforce drastically and isn't repairing the vehicles needed to do the work. That would easily cause a disruption, and isn't something the workers are going to blindly accept, even with the pay increase.

So, which side is "right"?
It's all part of contract negotiation, the union does slow downs and work stoppages but won't strike. The so called, previously mentioned, manual labor just isn't that manual anymore and the job can be done with fewer workers. That's a fact of life: evolve or be replaced.

 
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samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
3,518
Atlanta, GA
It's all part of contract negotiation, the union does slow downs and work stoppages but won't strike. The so called, previously mentioned, manual labor just isn't that manual anymore and the job can be done with fewer workers. That's a fact of life: evolve or be replaced.
Has enough changed to warrant a cut of 2/3 of the workforce, as the union is claiming? Does it excuse tons of non-functional vehicles?

I think there's more to the story than "union is being greedy and corporation is being benevolent".
 

TPadden

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2010
628
218
....I think there's more to the story than "union is being greedy and corporation is being benevolent".
There is always at least 2 sides to every story but there is no doubt that as the thread title states it is: "One of the best blue collar jobs in the US". My son unequivocally states the offer made to the union is more than fair and the line is long for those 6 figure blue collar jobs.