Disclaimer

The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

ILWU wins major organizing victory on the docks in Southern California

ILWU Local 63 organizing victory, October 2017.

ILWU Local 63 organizing victory, October 2017.

From the Dispatcher:

On October 5th, newly organized ILWU members were sworn into Local 63 as part of an on-going campaign to organize the superintendents in the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. Superintendents from Pasha, Eagle Marine Services (Operations Center), California United Terminals and West Coast Terminal & Stevedore were sworn in by Local 63 President Paul Trani. These members join Local 63 as part of the new Superintendents’ Unit. This was a historic victory for the ILWU.

These are the first marine terminal superintendents to be represented by any union on the West Coast. In order to unionize, the superintendents had to go through the traditional National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process of signing cards and filing a petition with the Labor Board for a union election. This is a risky and intimidating process for any worker. It takes a lot of courage and grit to stand up to an employer and assert your right to have a union.

“These superintendents risked their livelihoods when they signed cards with the ILWU,” said International Vice President (Mainland) Ray Familathe. “These workers were at-will employees and had no dispatch hall to fall back on if they were fired. They took this risk because they wanted to make a better life for themselves and their families, and they’ve seen firsthand what having a strong union behind you can mean.”

These are stand-alone agreements between the units and the individual companies. Although these superintendents are members of Local 63, they do not work under the marine clerks’ contract and they are not part of the ILWU-PMA registration or dispatch system.

Read the rest at ILWU.org

FacebookEmailShare

Federal grant to help Port of Long Beach retrofit diesel-burning engines

From the Long Beach Post:

A $2.4 million federal grant awarded to the Port of Long Beach (POLB) will help the complex begin to decrease its pollution levels just weeks after the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach approved its updated Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) that has goals of bringing it to zero emissions by 2035.

The grant comes from the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) which was renewed in 2010, and through it, has provided funds nationally to help reduce diesel emissions. The $2.4 million awarded this week to the POLB will go toward retrofitting three gantry cranes to all-electric operations as well as retrofitting four tugboats with the “newest and cleanest” engines available, according to a release from the Port.

The port has previously received multiple grants from the DERA fund and since 2005 those awards have totaled over $14 million. That money has gone toward projects like installing emission-capturing devices and treatment systems on ocean-going vessels and replacing tractors that operate at the port.

More at the Long Beach Post

FacebookEmailShare

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach post solid October volumes

From Logistics Management:

October volumes at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) and the Port of Long Beach (POLB) were solid, according to recent data released by the ports.

POLA handled 748,762 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units). While this tally marks the port’s third-best volume output for October, it was down 8.1% annually when compared to October 2016, the port’s best-ever October. POLA added that the fourth quarter of 2016 handled additional cargo following the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy.

POLB October volumes saw a 15% annual increase to 669,218 TEU, for its busiest October ever, even though it stands as the ports fourth-busiest month of 2017 behind July, September, and August.

Read the rest at Logistics Management

FacebookEmailShare

US House passes port cybersecurity act

From Port Strategy:

The US House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee has passed legislation aimed at addressing cybersecurity concerns at the country’s ports.

H.R.3101 – Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act of 2017 was reintroduced by House of Representatives member Norma Torres, who represents California’s 35th congressional district.

It was spurred on by June’s global NotPetya ransomware outbreak, which led to a shutdown of the Port of Los Angeles’ biggest terminal.

It requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to create voluntary guidelines for cybersecurity risk reporting, to develop and put into practice a maritime cyber security risk model and to make recommendations on enhancing cyber information-sharing.

More at Port Strategy

FacebookEmailShare

Port of Grays Harbor urges Hoquiam to adjust shoreline permit fees

From The Daily World:

The Hoquiam City Council will take a long hard look at the city’s shorelines permit application fee structure after hearing testimony Monday from Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson that the current structure making the city look unfriendly to larger projects.

“We have a long legacy of industrial use on our waterfront,” said Port Director Gary Nelson. “Look past the BHP application and reaffirm the goals of the city and the Port.”

Nelson said the existing fee structure based on a percentage of the total cost of a project, which unfairly punishes larger scale projects. The current structure fee is $7,000 for the first million and $1,000 for each following million. When a $440 million project like BHP’s, the costs to the developer can be well above the costs incurred when considering the permit application.

“I think we need to take more input from the Port and other stakeholders,” said Winkelman. “The city shouldn’t be making money on the fee, it should just be used to cover the costs associated with the application. This is a large project we’re hoping to get here.”

More at The Daily World

FacebookEmailShare

Cowlitz County denies two major permits in ‘huge blow’ to Longview coal export project

From The Daily News article titled ‘Two Millennium coal project shoreline permits for Longview denied’:

In a huge blow to the proposed Longview coal dock, a Cowlitz County hearing examiner has denied two major shoreline permits that Millennium Bulk Terminals needs for its $680 million project.

Hearing Examiner Mark Scheibmeir rejected the permits Tuesday in spite of recommendations from Cowlitz County staff that he approve the permits under several conditions.

Scheibmeir wrote in his decision that Millennium could not show that it would adequately compensate for 10 significant adverse impacts identified in the state’s environmental impact statement. Millennium will appeal the decision to the state’s shoreline hearing board.

Read the rest here

FacebookEmailShare

Port of Oakland imports set record for second-straight month

The Port of Oakland this week reported a record-setting finish to the peak shipping season. The Port said it handled the equivalent of 76,706 20-foot import containers last month. It was the busiest October for imports in Oakland history and followed a similar record performance in September.

The cargo rush signaled a successful conclusion to the traditional summer-autumn peak season, the Port said. That’s the time of year when U.S. retailers stock shelves with overseas merchandise for the holidays.

Industry analysts and Port officials attributed import growth to a strong economy that has spurred consumer demand. The Port said its numbers topped even those from 2005-06 when international container trade reached its zenith.

Posted in Container News

FacebookEmailShare

Port worker crushed by container at ICTSI in Jakarta identified as Nasrul Nasution

Nasrul Nasution was killed in a worksite accident at the ICTSI terminal in Jakarta, November 2017.

40-year-old Nasrul Nasution was tragically killed in a worksite accident at the ICTSI terminal in Jakarta, Indonesia last week.

Our profound condolences go out to Mr. Nasution’s family, friends and colleagues. An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

Excerpts from an article titled ‘Worker Deaths Leads to Union Call for Full Investigation at Port of Jakarta’:

International unions have castigated the management at the Port of Jakarta after a worker was killed on the job at the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) facility. Local unions say a 40-year-old man was fatally crushed when a refrigerated container was dropped onto his truck, crushing the cabin and killing the driver. This is the second workplace fatality at the Port of Jakarta in three weeks.

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) President Paddy Crumlin said this was a heart-wrenching time for all dockworkers and that this accident could have been avoided if the ICTSI Jakarta terminal was properly run. “Low-paid outsource workers at ICTSI terminals are paid poverty wages and frequently work massive hours just to make ends meet. The link between high rates of outsourcing and bad safety outcomes is well documented.”

The ITF last month issued its own report into ICTSI which it claimed showed a pattern of severe safety deficiencies across the Philippine-based company’s network of terminals. The report particularly highlighted the lack of adequate systems to separate people and machinery, and a failure to safely manage the risks of suspended loads, along with a number of other issues.

Read the rest at the Handy Shipping Guide

FacebookEmailShare

Container ship service returning to Port of Portland in 2018

From Oregon Public Broadcasting:

More than a year and a half after the final ship sailed following a bitter labor dispute at Oregon’s only international container terminal, container ship service is poised to return to the Port of Portland in January.

Starting in January, Hong Kong-based Swire Shipping will start calls at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6, roughly every 35 days. The route takes goods from Portland to Australia and New Zealand, and then onto China, with a possible stop in South Korea before returning to Portland.

In 2014, some 8,000 containers moved through the Port of Portland, taking agricultural goods from around the Northwest to Asia and European markets.

Read the rest here

FacebookEmailShare

Port of Oakland plan for ex-Army Base takes a step forward

From a Port of Oakland news release:

Port of Oakland commissioners have given initial approval to a landmark deal with CenterPoint Properties for a logistics center at the former base. The tentative agreement caps nearly 15 years of planning for the most-anticipated Port growth project ever. Port officials said today that the agreement includes unprecedented commitments to hire local workers.

The Board of Port Commissioners voted initial approval of the agreement this week. It comes up for final vote Nov. 30. If Commissioners say yes a second time, the deal becomes official in January.

See the rest at the Port of Oakland web site

FacebookEmailShare

Kalama Export dockworkers rally for better benefits

ILWU Local 21 members were joined by longshoremen from West Coast ports at KEX. Photo by JJ Burkey, ILWU Local 21 member

ILWU Local 21 members were joined by longshoremen from West Coast ports at KEX. Photo by JJ Burkey, ILWU Local 21 member

Excerpts from The Daily News:

Wearing orange shirts with slogans calling for “equal benefits,” about 300 longshoremen marched at the Port of Kalama Wednesday to draw attention to stalled labor talks between the Kalama Export Company and International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union Local 21.

Local 21 represents 46 longshoremen at Kalama Export, one of two grain export terminals at the Port of Kalama. Kalama Export is owned by Pacificor, a joint venture between Archer Daniels Midland, Marubeni (aka Gavilon) and Mitsubishi. Pacificor also owns the Columbia Export Terminal in Portland. Pacificor does offer those benefits to its Portland grainhandlers.

“It’s not right that the same employer has one standard for its workers in Portland but another for its workers in Kalama,” ILWU Local 21 President Billy Roberts said in a prepared statement.

“The work is the same, the hazards are the same and the need for family health benefits and retirement security are the same. But the employer has refused, for three years at the negotiating table, to meet the industry standard on benefits. KEX (Kalama Export Company) needs to meet the same standard for its grainhandlers in Kalama as it already does for its grainhandlers in Portland,” Roberts said.

More at The Daily News

FacebookEmailShare

Dockworkers mourn port worker killed at ICTSI terminal in Jakarta

The international dockworkers’ community is in mourning following the death of an Indonesian worker who was killed on the job at the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) facility in Jakarta this week.

Local unions say a 40-year-old man was fatally crushed at 22.10 local time when a refrigerated container was dropped onto his truck, crushing the cabin and killing the driver. This is the second workplace fatality at the Port of Jakarta in three weeks.

International Transport Workers’ Federation President Paddy Crumlin said this was a heart-wrenching time for all dockworkers and that this accident could have been avoided if the ICTSI Jakarta terminal was properly run.

“Every worker deserves to come home safely at the end of their shift and our thoughts go out to this man’s family, friends and co-workers,” Crumlin said.

“While we cannot pre-empt the findings of an official inquiry, ICTSI has a demonstrably poor record when it comes to safety in the workplace.

“This incident raises serious questions about ICTSI’s traffic management systems and specifically whether they had adequately separated moving vehicles from suspended loads.

“Given their chequered history, we also need a thorough investigation into whether poor maintenance and equipment failure have played a role in this tragic death of a worker.

“Extreme fatigue will also need to be investigated. Like many workers at ICTSI, this man was employed by an outsource labour supply company called Persada.

“Low-paid outsource workers at ICTSI terminals are paid poverty wages and frequently work massive hours just to make ends meet. The the link between high rates of outsourcing and bad safety outcomes is well documented.”

The ITF last month launched a global report into ICTSI which showed a pattern of severe safety deficiencies across the Philippine-based company’s network of terminals.

The report particularly highlighted the lack of adequate systems to separate people and machinery, and a failure to safely manage the risks of suspended loads, along with a number of other issues.

“The ITF, and our union affiliates, have observed an emerging pattern of labour violations in the ICTSI network: a failure to respect the right to freedom of association; poor safety standards; and illegal outsourcing of labour,” the report says.

“Many of these violations are in breach of domestic law in the countries where ITCSI operates and contravene international labour conventions.

“They also contravene ICTSI’s own policies and statements, and call into question the company’s ability to effectively manage their global business and ensure the same standards and performance across all of their terminals.”

Crumlin said: “ICTSI has been the target of international condemnation in recent months over the company’s sloppy management, poor safety standards, and a distinct lack of compliance with local laws and international labour conventions.

“This month the Government of Papua New Guinea has been the target of global protests calling on the government to review the decision to award port operations in Lae and Port Moresby to ICTSI.

“After today’s tragedy, these protests are set to continue until ICTSI changes its ways and begins to engage with unions and their workforce to ensure fair wages and safety on the job for all of their dockworkers around the globe.”
For more details, please contact

Source: ITF

FacebookEmailShare

ILWU members from West Coast ports travel to support Kalama Export workers

ILWU members from West Coast ports from Seattle to Los Angeles convened on Nov. 8, 2017, to support workers at Kalama Export Company who are receiving substandard benefits while all other eight Northwest grain export elevators meet the industry standard. Photo by ILWU Local 21 longshoreman J.J. Burkey

ILWU members from West Coast ports from Seattle to Los Angeles convened on Nov. 8, 2017, to support workers at Kalama Export Company who are receiving substandard benefits while all other eight Northwest grain export elevators meet the industry standard. Photo by ILWU Local 21 longshoreman J.J. Burkey

Kalama Export is the only grain export terminal in the Northwest that does not provide ILWU-PMA pension and welfare benefits to its workers, but KEX’ parent company provides them to Columbia Export workers 50 miles south

KALAMA, WA (NOVEMBER 8, 2017) – In a show of solidarity with workers at Kalama Export Company (KEX), members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) traveled from several West Coast ports to show support for local Longshore workers who are three years into negotiations for a new contract with their employer. The ILWU longshore workers traveled from as far away as Tacoma and Seattle to the north, and San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angelesand Long Beach to the south to show their support.

Wearing orange shirts that read, “ILWU Grainhandlers United for Equal Benefits for KEX Workers,” elected union leaders from the ILWU International Headquarters and other West Coast ports urged Kalama Export to meet the industry standard and provide the same ILWU-PMA pension and welfare benefits that all other grain export terminals have been providing to their grainhandlers for decades – a benefit that KEX’s owner already provides to its grainhandlers at the Port of Portland, OR.

KEX at the Port of Kalama, WA, is owned by the same joint venture that owns Columbia Export Terminal (CET) 50 miles upriver in Portland, OR:
● 60.6% Japan-based Marubeni (dba Gavilon)
● 32.2% US-based Archer Daniels Midland
● 7.2% Japan-based Mitsubishi
Together these three companies call themselves Pacificor. This employer provides ILWU-PMA benefits for its grainhandlers in Portland, but not those in Kalama.

“It’s not right that the same employer has one standard for its workers in Portland but another for its workers in Kalama,” said ILWU Local 21 President Billy Roberts. “The work is the same, the hazards are the same, and the need for family health benefits and retirement security are the same. But the employer has refused, for three years at the negotiating table, to meet the industry standard on benefits. KEX needs to meet the same standard for its grainhandlers in Kalama as it already does for its grainhandlers in Portland.”

Of the nine grain export terminals in the Northwest, every one provides ILWU-PMA pension and welfare benefits to their grainhandlers, except for KEX in Kalama. The ones who do: Columbia Export Terminal (CET) in Portland, Export Grain Terminal (EGT) in Longview, Louis Dreyfus Commodities (LDC) in Portland, Louis Dreyfus Commodities (LDC) in Seattle, TEMCO in Portland, TEMCO in Kalama, TEMCO in Tacoma, and United Grain Company (UGC) in Vancouver, WA.

FacebookEmailShare

Container record broken at Port of Los Angeles

From Global Trade Magazine:

Maersk Line has claimed it set a record when the Maersk Evora loaded and unloaded 24,846 TEUs. The carriers says that’s a new world record for a single vessel port call.

The international trade landmark took place at APM Terminals (APMT), Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles during the week of October 18, 2017.

Maersk’s 13,492 TEU container vessel arrived at the APMT terminal fully loaded and with containers stacked nine high above deck, a first for any US port, according to the port of LA. APMT used its newly raised cranes, the tallest in North America, to load and unload the vessel.

More at Global Trade Magazine

FacebookEmailShare

Judge sides with developers of Longview coal terminal

From the Associated Press:

A Washington state judge on Friday handed a victory to the developers of a massive proposed coal-export terminal on the Columbia River, saying the state acted arbitrarily when it blocked a sublease sought for the project.

The decision, by Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Stephen Warning, followed a series of recent setbacks for Millennium Bulk Terminals, including the state Ecology Department’s decision to deny it a needed water-quality permit.

The $680 million terminal, which would ship coal from Montana, Wyoming and other states to Asia, could boost U.S. coal exports by 40 percent. The ruling overturned a decision made by outgoing Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark early this year. Goldmark had denied permission for the project to use docks at a former aluminum smelter, saying Millennium hadn’t provided enough information about its finances, among other concerns.

Nevertheless, the terminal has a long ways to go before it gets a green light.

Read the rest at the San Francisco Chronicle

FacebookEmailShare