Saturday, October 05, 2002

I questioned on Thursday the accuracy of wages being reported in the major media for the dockworkers being locked out at West Coast ports, because the figures seem completely outrageous. This CNN article gives a slightly larger explanation on dockworker wages.

ILWU members are among the best paid blue collar workers in the nation. PMA figures show longshoremen earned an average of $82,895 last year, clerks averaged $118,844 and foremen, who are members of the union, averaged $157,352.

Almost 30 percent of union members in the longshoremen classification work less than 1,600 hours a year, equivalent to 40 hours a week for 40 weeks.

Only a bit more than half work 2,000 or more hours, which is essentially full-time employment across the year. Those working 2,000 or more hours had average pay of $106,883 in 2001, according to PMA.

Unfortately, I still don't have an accurate picture of the wages, because I still don't know what the median wages are for each position, and how much overtime was worked to reach the median wage. This page at the Pacific Maritime Association provides hours, wages and shifts reports, and I'll play with the data to see if I can't get a more accurate picture of what type of wages the dockworkers are making and how much overtime is being worked.