As global food prices continue to skyrocket, regulations that entrench union special privileges are delaying critical food shipments from reaching their intended destinations. According to the Center for Global Development and The Los Angeles Times, union-imposed labor requirements have slowed food shipments because aid agencies are forced to rely on U.S.-flagged ships for transportation:
“ . . . US policy compounds the problem by requiring that food aid must be purchased and packaged in the United States and shipped mainly on US-flagged ships. Thus, a good chunk of the US food aid budget gets diverted to higher distribution and transportation costs, which are also going up as a result of oil price hikes and rising freight costs.”
The Center for Global Development also estimates that these regulations increase the cost of foreign assistance by up to 30%, eroding the benefits of aid through massive overhead costs. Union officials support this wasteful policy because it forces ports to rely on a heavily unionized workforce that generates millions of dollars in dues payments each year.
This isn’t a new problem, either. Union-boss-inspired maritime regulations have plagued the delivery of foreign aid consignments for over a decade. With food prices soaring throughout the Third World, however, now is an ideal time to jettison these obstructionist compulsory unionism privileges.