WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Dole bananas will continue to pass through the Port of Wilmington

Give the Markell Administration credit.

DEDO Director Alan Levin and the Governor himself succeeded in keeping Dole at the Port of Wilmingtom for at least 15 more years.

If Dole had yanked some or all of its business from the port, the economic impact would have been crippling.

Something which went almost unnoticed: One of the two labor unions represented at the port agreed to a pay cut. Local 1694 of the International Longshoreman's Association reluctantly agreed a couple of years ago to a seven-and-a-half percent wage concession for the life of the contract (2018).

The Diamond State Port Corporation has made concessions to Dole, plus the State of Delaware is committed to renovations at the port to the benefit of Dole.

Alan Levin told WDEL both sides understood what was at stake: A realization of the existing facility, management, and workforce. New Jersey had the advantage of dangling a new facility before Dole, but New Jersey also represented some unknowns.

Still, it's interesting to ponder: Did Dole throw up a possible move to the Port of Paulsboro in New Jersey primarily as a gambit to gain concessions from Delaware? Or did Dole have every intention of moving? We may never know.

Governor Markell apparently clinched the deal during a visit to Dole's headquarters in California, coming back from Down Under.

A victory for Delaware, but then comes the sobering realization: This was about maintaining the status-quo, KEEPING jobs in Delaware. It was hardly a job expansion.

Markell, Levin & Company must feel they're constantly playing a game of Whac-A-Mole.

Posted at 7:59am on August 14, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Aug 14, 2013 8:56am
It may be whack a mole, but those good-paying jobs stayed here, apparently for the next 15 yrs.

Unfortunately, corporations are pretty good at playing the "corporate welfare game" (aka "Let's Make a Deal"). Hopefully, there's some iron-clad agreement so a year or two from now after we the taxpayers have paid to upgrade the port facilities, Dole doesn't get a better offer from Philly/ NJ/Balt & decide to unload their bananas somewhere else (Astra-Zeneca, Bluewater Wind, & Fisker all come to mind.

But if they're for the next 15 years - without any major lay-offs - that will be a good thing for one group of Delawareans, plus we'll benefit from the tax revenue from both workers & Dole. So assuming all that I've mentioned above is correct, congrats, Governor Markell & Alan Levin.

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 11:35am
Furthermore, it is a good selling point. All those other companies wondering where to put down roots, can now be hit with this line: "Well you know, the number-one fruit importer was re-evaluating its contract and over all options offered, that company decided to stay here.. That should be all you need to know."

Whereas this stay is "a status-quo", it can be marketed by those possessing astuteness, into growing the port into a larger capacity. It appears we need some smart good salespeople in Delaware.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Aug 14, 2013 4:17pm
Kavips: good point. Once the state finishes up the relocating the port onto the Delaware River side rather than on the Christiana side that will make Wilmington's port even more attractive.

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 7:52pm
Speaking of bananas, isn't it amazing how much Obama has turned America into a banana republic in just the last 5 years? Why, you can't even wear a mask of the president's face without losing your job and possibly going to jail.

Hmmmmmmmm. Makes me think of Iran.

Wed, Aug 14, 2013 8:39pm
Speaking of Iran, here's something to indulge your senses with:


Mike from Delaware
Thu, Aug 15, 2013 10:02am
Mrpizza: Even the Fox reporters on one of their shows [saw this while in a McDonald's in Dover yesterday] all said it was in poor taste. They didn't seem to have an issue with the rodeo clown losing his job. What bothered them was that the NAACP wanted to have the government funding for the event [some sort of fair probably state money helps underwrite it, kind of like Wilmington underwriting the Clifford Brown Festival] stopped, because of that clown's action.

I agree with them, stopping the money is an over reach. The clown losing his job, probably was correct [there isn't any other punishment available, can't exactly fine him]. Of course I'd expect him to lose his job for mocking a Prez Bush or Romney too in a similar way.

The issue, is it appropriate to openly mock in a performance in an insulting way, the Prez? It's one thing to poke fun at him in a comedy skit, but the video they showed just looked insulting and in very bad taste.

This IS a fine line, granted [for some reason Tina Fey's version of Sarah Palin is funny and this clown's dancing around as Obama wasn't], but it seems that many on the GOP side of the fence have really ratcheted up the insulting stuff during Obama's two terms. Some possibly is racist based, others just folks who don't agree with him and consider him to be evil incarnate. Others, just plain mean spirited.

The TEA/GOP folks are acting like those thugs in Egypt who over threw the freely elected leader there. Face the fact, Romney lost the election fair and square [no Supreme Court decision like the Bush/Gore 2000 election].

If Romney had won and the DEMS/LIBS were doing the stuff that the TEA/GOP have been doing as insulting things, you can bet FOX, Limbaugh, and all of the TEA folks here would be up in arms about it. Well if its wrong for the DEMS to do that when YOUR guy wins, its just as wrong for the GOP to do it when the DEM guy wins. Humor and poking fun is one thing [a politician needs a thick skin], but insulting is something else and really doesn't help elevate the dialog.

In 2008 and again in 2012 the people spoke via the ballot box and said, we want Obama rather than McCain/Palin [thank God], and Romney/Ryan. It is what it is. The GOP/TEA next opportunity to win the Oval Office is in 2016. Sure oppose Obama's agenda via Congress, do humorous comedy, that shows the short comings of his policies, but stop the insulting stuff, it damages the TEA/GOP brand thus helping the DEMS/LIBS in 2014 and 2016.

Thu, Aug 15, 2013 8:10pm
Mike: Your point is well taken. There's just one problem. Had this been a liberal mocking any Republican, most of us on the right would have simply dismissed him as an insignificant idiot and moved on. The only reason Fox even expressed an opinion about it was because the race baiters on the left made an issue of it.

Poor taste or not, if we're going to have "free speech", it has to be for everybody, not just liberals.

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