$100 million a day strike: Tugboat crews warn iron ore industry
Tugboat crews, including deckhands paid more than some New York bankers, are threatening to disrupt shipments from the world’s biggest iron ore port as they negotiate for increased wages and improved conditions. Australian iron ore miners may collectively lose about A$100 million ($93 million) a day as a result of stoppages at Port Hedland, according to BHP Billiton ltd. (BHP), the world’s largest mining company. The port exports about half of the nation’s shipments, forecast to reach A$76.5 billion in the year through June 2015, according to government forecasts. Unions have discussed possible industrial action since March and, depending on the results of voting, rolling stoppages could stretch to November. The deckhands earn at least A$137,000 a year, which can rise to about A$211,000 with benefits and allowances, according to BHP. A junior banker on Wall Street typically makes a base salary in a range of $70,000 to $90,000, with bonuses bringing total pay to as much as $140,000, according to New York-based compensation consultant Johnson Associates Inc.