A Hostage Situation

“Union Holds US Ports Hostage,” according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Russ Pohl. Hell, if he’s going to be so sensationalist about it, he should at least add some exclamation marks to the headline.

Interestingly, Pohl doesn’t play the trump card — the state’s looming presence in all labor negotiations — that right-“libertarians” are usually so eager to throw down on the table.

Maybe that’s because, per the piece, “[f]ederal mediators were called in to defuse the situation but ultimately admitted they themselves had little to do with the final outcome.” That final outcome, by the way, was that striking clerical workers returned to their jobs after successfully negotiating a contract with the operators of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Or maybe Pohl shied away from playing the “government power” card because it wasn’t the workers seeking state intervention, but rather the National Retail Federation urging US President Barack Obama to intervene and order an end the strike.

Some “hostage situation.” I wonder if that’s what Pohl would call it if the owner of one of those shipping containers, full of (for example) Christmas toys, declined to deliver said toys to a purchasing store without a signed contract in hand? Especially if the toy seller had been delivering toys for two years without such a contract, just relying on the store’s owners to pay him whatever they felt the toys were worth (the port workers reported for duty every day for two years sans contract before saying enough was enough)?

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The Anatomy of Escape
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