Thursday, December 3, 2009

President Obama!

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.........

President Obama hosted a conference today with  business and labor leaders and economic advisers to serve up “every demonstrably good idea” for creating jobs that they could think of.

I heard him tell executives from American Airlines, Nucor Corp., Google Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Fed-Ex "I want to be clear: While I believe the government has a critical role in creating the conditions for economic growth, ultimately true economic recovery is only going to come from the private sector”  .

Mr. Obama then told the chief executives that he wanted to know: “What’s holding back business investment and how we can increase confidence and spur hiring? And if there are things that we’re doing here in Washington that are inhibiting you, then we want to know about it.”.

Well, Mr President, I have a suggestion for a quick way to create jobs.  Since you have such good relationship and standing with the Labor Unions, maybe you could exert some influence on them to stop holding up  much needed construction in Jacksonville, Florida.  There's a $208 Million terminal construction project that's been on hold, and is still on hold, because the ILA is trying to shake down Hanjin Shipping and get them to agree to costly and anti-competitive labor practices.  

And while we're at it, maybe you can shake the tree a bit and get the Department of Defense to finalize the decision to move one of our nuclear carriers from Norfolk to Mayport Naval Station.  Besides making us all less vulnerable to the potential disaster that could ensue by having all our carriers in one location, as we now have them, it would sure create a lot of additional jobs........

Let me know if you'd like some additional suggestions, but just working on those two would be really appreciated........

Jaxport postpones Hanjin terminal choice
Jacksonville Business Journal - by Mark Szakonyi
The Jacksonville Port Authority is holding off on choosing a firm to design the Hanjin container terminal at Dames Point because negotiations between Hanjin and the longshoremen’s union haven’t progressed enough.
The construction of Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd’s $208 million terminal, which is slated to open 2013, isn't expected to be pushed back because delays were factored into the timeline, said David Kulik, chairman of the Jacksonville Port Authority’s board. The board was originally expected to choose the terminal design firm Dec. 9, and it isn’t known when it will make its choice.
William Rooney, managing director of Hanjin’s American headquarters, said his shipping company continues to negotiate with the local International Longshoremen Association union. Part of the reason negotiations haven’t progressed as quickly is because both parties were waiting to see if a two-year contract extension for all ILA longshoremen would be approved.
The association approved the extension in late November with United States Marine Alliance Ltd. (USMX), the alliance of East Coast and Gulf Coast container carriers, despite some members’ concerns about the growing technological nature of terminals, which reduces the need for union workers. The contract will last until Sept. 30, 2012.
Hanjin’s planned terminal will be highly automated, and the South Korean company and the local unions haven’t decided how many workers per container gang will load and unload ships, said Jess Babich, president of ILA Clerks & Checkers Local 1593. His union and ILA Local 1408 normally use about 15 workers per container gang, but Hanjin wants to use seven.
Babich said local union representatives are going to Houston next week to talk to district officials on how to come to an agreement over staffing at the dock. ILA Local 1408 President Romia Johnson wasn’t available for comment.

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