Abstract

In both the Netherlands & the US, law has helped rationalize the hiring of port labor & provide dockworkers greater security. However, US longshoremen have captured a larger share of the productivity gains flowing from the mechanization of cargo handling than have Dutch dockworkers. At the same time, the constraints imposed by US longshore unions have made container terminals in the US less efficient & more costly to users, as compared to Rotterdam terminals. These differences can in part be explained by US labor law, which encourages a more adversarial, self-seeking union posture than does the labor law structure in the Netherlands. Probably more important, however, are economic factors, which expose Dutch dockworkers (but not West Coast longshoremen) to competition from ports in other nations. Similarly, international competition, intensified by the technological revolution in transportation, seems likely to impel cross-national convergence in many spheres, leveling differences in law & in legally influenced outcomes. 94 References. Adapted from the source document.

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