Friday, February 13, 2015


International shipping used to be done by guys moving heavy wooden boxes and burlap bags around.  50 years ago they started putting cargoes into containers.  That reduced breakage, spillage, and theft.  It made unloading much faster and easier.  It was no longer a low skilled labor intensive job.

It is now a highly skilled job.  Drop one container on the bottom hull of a ship and you sink it.  Drop a container on a man and he is squashed like a bug.  It's a skilled job that pays excellent money.  Their work rules are very restrictive and so it's a relatively easy work day.

Still the writing is on the wall for many of these jobs.  Technology is being developed that can take much of the human factor out of these duties.  Containers could be moved around without the need for people to operate the machines.  These high paying jobs could be going away; created greater efficiency, less cost, fewer loses.  Might be a bad time to go on strike for higher pay; that's the view from the Hysterical Right Wing.

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