NAFTA super highway to accelerate North American trade

I stumbled across this story through digg and it seemed pretty well supported even though it hasn’t been covered in the mainstream media at all yet. The Bush administration appears to be planning for a Mexico-USA-Canada “super corridor” to bypass a couple unions.

The new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union in the process. The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation’s most modern highway straight into the heart of America. The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only electronically by the new “SENTRI” system. The first customs stop will be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City.

The first segment through Texas is ready to be constructed next year! The implication is the creation of a North American Union like the European Union, although it’ll probably end up being more like a natural extension of NAFTA. Less politics, more economics.


Delving into union contracts

I spent the better part of today and yesterday auditing a client’s payroll system. They have recently switched to a new system and the difference between old and new is dramatic.

The reports are easier to read and understand, the font is easier on the eyes and brain, and the electronic interface is prettier too. I don’t know how much it cost them but I hope they find it worth the investment.

What I learned today is that unions very much control the labour supply in this industry. It is a risk in their line of business that they must deal with: The constant threat that the union will strike and their business will come to a grinding halt.

Unions have the rules stacked in their favour: They dictate the terms under which their workers will work down to the most minute detail. The downside to the workers is the onerous dues they have deducted from each pay cheque, but unionized workers at this client make double what non-unionized workers make, so it probably works out better for them overall.