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on the waterfront

Want a Job That Pays $400K for ‘Little or No Work’?

It might not be the most glamorous job, but according to a new report from the Waterfront Commision of New York,  working on the docks in New York City can get you that kind of gig. As the Times reports, you can even reach the holy grail of urban strivers everywhere and defeat the pesky limitations of the 24-hour-clock: Some workers collect pay for as many as 27 hours in a day. The 27-Hour Paycheck is a definite best seller waiting to happen.

Of course, not just anyone can land such a job:

The commission concluded that the ability of the New York area’s ports to compete for cargo shipments is threatened by the pervasive influence of organized-crime families and the perverse work rules the longshoremen’s union has maintained.

The report, which summarizes hearings that the commission held late in 2010, said that allowing the union to keep these “prime positions filled by mob and union favorites merely adds to organized-crime influence and makes the port less competitive.”

Vincent "The Chin" Gigante is a particularly proud patriarch. No fewer than nine of his relatives work for the longshoreman's union, including his nephew Ralph, who collects $400,00o per year as a shop steward, the same job title held by two of Gigante's sons-in-law. It's a salary that the union's top boss referred to in testimony as "not a lot of money today.”  Longshoreman and investment bankers: more in common than you'd have ever thought.

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Photo: Columbia Pictures