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.

Oakland’s maritime revenue growth slows after losing terminal

From Container Management:

The Port of Oakland has announced that its maritime revenue grew by just 1.8% in the fiscal year of 2017, which ended on 30th June.

This was the first full fiscal year without Ports America Outer Harbour. Ports America exited the terminal in January 2016, saying it was re-focussing its West Coast strategy on Los Angeles, Long Beach, the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada.

At the time, Ports America’s decision was criticised by the Port of Oakland for the alleged suddenness of its withdrawal and the disruption caused.

Just 13 days after Ports America announced it would exit the terminal, Outer Harbour Terminal LLC filed for bankruptcy.

More at Container Management


BHP requests lower shorelines permit fee for proposed potash facility at Port of Grays Harbor

From The Daily World:

The company considering a $440 million potash export facility at the Port of Grays Harbor told the City of Hoquiam the $445,000 shorelines permit application fee calculated by the city is “in excess of that which could be considered reasonable relative to expected costs” and asked the city to cut it by more than 75 percent.

A letter from BHP Potash Projects, the Australia-based company proposing the facility, stated, “BHP respectfully requests the city cap the project value at $100 million for the shoreline fee calculation and include costs associated with the administration of the permit applications (e.g. third party review) in this fee.”

Hoquiam City Administrator Brian Shay explained the process behind permit fee calculations. “In our fee resolution, a shorelines permit is based upon the value of the project. In (BHP Potash Projects’) application the project was $440 million. Based upon that value the shorelines permit would be $445,000.”

More at The Daily World


Pacific Coast Pensioners celebrate 50th anniversary

From the ILWU Dispatcher:

The 50th Annual Convention of the ILWU’s Pacific Coast Pensioners Association (PCPA) was held September 18-20 in Long Beach, California where delegates marked their important organizational milestone. The convention was hosted by the Southern California Pensioners.

“This year’s event is extra-special because it marks our ‘Golden Anniversary’ in honor of the 1967 founding of our group with help from ILWU President Harry Bridges, who encouraged us to come together, grow and become a vital part of the ILWU, which we continue to do,” said PCPA President Greg Mitre.

Record-breaking attendance of over 250 people were packed into 4 days of events that began with a spirited PCPA Executive Board meeting on Sunday where issues were discussed and debated in front of a large group of observers.

Read the rest at ILWU.org


Port of Seattle appoints new Seaport Director

From Maritime Executive:

The Port of Seattle’s director of environmental and planning programs, Stephanie Jones Stebbins, has been named the new managing director of the port’s maritime division. Jones Stebbins will be responsible for directing the operations of the port’s cruise, commercial fishing, merchant marine and recreational marina business lines, plus its marine maintenance and industrial properties. The port – which forms one-half of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, along with Port of Tacoma – has two cruise ship terminals, a large fishing terminal for the North Pacific fleet, a grain terminal, a public cargo terminal and four public marinas.

At the Port, Jones Stebbins has been the director of environmental and planning programs for six years, was the director of seaport environmental for four years, and manager of seaport strategic and facility planning for five years. She spent three years in the Peace Corps and overseas consulting in addition to several years of work in the U.S. before coming to the Port of Seattle. Jones Stebbins holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina.

Read the rest here


Unions disappointed, but not surprised by Trump decision to disband labor-management forum

From the Washington Post:

After several months of silence on the topic, President Donald Trump did what many federal unions thought was inevitable: He disbanded a formal advisory panel designed to create and foster partnerships between labor and agency management.

His decision to eliminate the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations came late last Friday — just one day before the executive order that created the council was due to expire.

President Barack Obama first signed an executive order that created the council in 2009, calling on agencies to work together with federal employees and unions to improve the delivery of government services to the public. He signed executive orders extending the council for two more years in 2013 and 2015.

Unions say the administration’s decision cuts off a valuable and productive place where agencies and employees had discussed specific challenges, reviewed organizational initiatives and solved workplace issues.

Read the rest here


Cargo volumes surge at Southern California ports

Excerpts from Transport Topics:

The Port of Los Angeles, the largest in North America, reported a 2.2% year-over-year increase to 763,784 TEUs, the third-largest September in its history. For September, the Port of Los Angeles had 88 vessel visits with an average TEU count of 8,679, a record.

The Port of Long Beach, Calif., the second largest, shattered a record for the busiest September in its history. Stevedores processed 701,619 TEUs, a 28% surge from the same point in 2016.

At the Port of Virginia, No. 7 in North America, container volume rose 8.2% to 237,816 TEUs. Loaded import containers went up 9.5% to 109,716, but exports fell 6.2% to 76,794.

More at Transport Topics


Jones Act has only minor impact on hurricane relief

From the Ellsworth American:

Calls for its repeal notwithstanding, the Jones Act — a federal law requiring cargo shipped between U.S. ports be carried on vessels built and registered in the United States — is having little, if any, impact on Puerto Rico’s recovery from the ravages of the hurricane that devastated the island last month.

Amid complaints about the federal government’s slow response to the disaster, some critics laid at least part of the blame on the Jones Act, a federal law requiring that cargo shipped between U.S. ports, be carried only in vessels built and registered in the United States.

Supporters of the Jones Act say that the century-old law isn’t what’s slowing recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The real problem, they contend, is getting supplies out of the ports and into the cities and countryside where they’re needed.

Read the rest here


Got a minute? Help stop ICTSI from hurting dockworkers and their families

Please read this important message from the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Dockers Section and then click here to add your name:

Click the photo to lend your support. ITF is helping Indonesian dockworkers as they fight for their rights at ICTSI.

Date: 10 October 2017

Dear comrades,

Right now in Indonesia, children have been forced to drop out of school because ICTSI – one of the world’s most profitable stevedoring companies – is targeting their parents for joining their union’s fight for a living wage.

ICTSI is systematically undermining the wages and conditions of workers at the waterfront in Jakarta, forcing them into long and unsafe overtime simply to earn a living wage. FBTPI union members have now been denied overtime by the company, and many are now unable to meet their basic expenses, resulting in workers taking children out of school and being evicted from their homes. We need fair pay for these workers now. Please support our campaign.

ICTSI is punishing these workers for standing up for justice.

Every child should go to school. Every worker deserves to live with dignity.

Join us and demand that ICTSI pay fair wages and stop targeting union members and their families!

ITF, and dockers union FBTPI, is calling on ICTSI to immediately stop targeting union members and to settle a collective agreement that guarantees workers a fair wage – without having to work excessive overtime – so their families can live with dignity and their children can go back to school.

An injury to one is an injury at all.


FMC Commissioner: The value of U.S.-flag ships and the Jones Act cannot be overstated

This opinion piece is by William Doyle, a commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. It is published in Foll At Maritime Executive.

With Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate, it has been a tough hurricane season, but the U.S. Merchant Marine has once again answered the call. In fact, but for the Jones Act and the U.S. Merchant Marine, things could have been a lot worse. A review of recent U.S.-flag maritime policy and practice demonstrates the importance of Jones Act shipping.

Over the past two decades the U.S. Merchant Marine and its Jones Act companies have responded effectively to every major maritime-accessible conflict and disaster that challenged the United States. By way of example, following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, nearly 500,000 people were trapped below the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. There was no way out except to swim or find a boat. The U.S. Merchant Marine went to work. In less than nine hours, Jones Act companies rearranged their voyages and sent vessels straight to the island of Manhattan. Hundreds of thousands of people were rescued and taken to safety by Jones Act ships, mariners and companies. It was largest boat lift evacuation in history – moving more people by boat than in the 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk, France.

More at at Maritime Executive


Congress could use Puerto Rico aid to attack Jones Act and American jobs

From ‘Seafarers fret over new assault on Jones Act in wake of storms’ in Bloomberg News:

“The Jones Act is pretty much the only reason I have a job,” said Brett Cowan, a mariner from California who has been working on boats since he was 13. Changing the Jones Act, he said, “would put a lot of us out of work.”

The latest attack on the Jones Act follows President Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily waive it after Hurricane Harvey disrupted refinery operations in Houston, and again to help aid reach Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Senator John McCain, a long-time opponent of the law, took the opportunity to introduce fast-track legislation to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the law — something that would eliminate a major shipping route from the act’s protection.

The legislation could be included in a vote on an aid package for the island to be voted on this week, according to C. James Patti, president of the Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development.

More at Bloomberg News


ITF committed to ensuring ICTSI does not extend its emerging patterns of labour violations

Analysis carried out by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has found an emerging pattern of labour rights violations throughout one of the world’s fastest growing stevedoring companies: International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).

The report, launched by ITF President Paddy Crumlin, shows that labour issues at ICTSI terminals are not limited to current disputes at ICTSI terminal in Madagascar and Indonesia. Severe labour violations can be found throughout ICTSI’s global network.

The ITF’s President Paddy Crumlin said today, “Patterns are emerging on ICTSI’s docks. A pattern of paying poverty wages. A pattern of failing to respect workers’ right to freedom of association. A pattern of poor safety standards endangering workers’ lives. A pattern of illegally out-sourcing jobs to labour-hire companies.

“The ITF, and our union affiliates, are committed to supporting port operators who provide good jobs and industrial relations practices in their ports. Together we are committed to ensuring that ICTSI does not extend its pattern of labour violations into new terminals,” added Crumlin.

More at Hellenic Shipping News


APMT Tacoma Terminal Lease Transfers to SSA Marine

From Port Technology:

APM Terminals has announced that its Tacoma operations came to an end on September 30, 2017, as part of its portfolio optimization plans and that the lease is now with Seattle-based terminal operator SSA Marine.

Newly managed operations at the US Washington state-based terminal began on October 2, 2017, after SSA Marine formed a new joint venture with SSAT.

SSAT, partly owned by Pacific container shipping line Matson, manages the carrier’s container stevedoring and terminal services on the US West Coast.

Read the rest here


Update on ILWU members wounded in Las Vegas: 'All those guys were heroes, they all protected their wives and each other'

Excerpts from an article in the Daily Breeze titled ‘Fundraising set for dockworker seen wounded on video in aftermath of Las Vegas shooting’:

ILWU Local 13 member Doug Cotter and family

ILWU Local 13 member Doug Cotter and family

Doug Cotter, 48, of Garden Grove, was one of three Port of Los Angeles dockworkers injured Sunday night when the shooting erupted at the Route 91 Harvest festival country music concert. Also injured were Mike Ljubic, 41, a crane mechanic, and Ambrose Russo, 36.

All three, members of Local 13 of the International Longshore and Warehouse ILWU, were attending the concert for the third year with their wives and other family members.

Cotter remains hospitalized following two surgeries. A bullet wound entered his right forearm, continued through the rib area and landed in his intestines, according to an account provided by his wife, Cherise, on the Doug Cotter GoFundMe page. He remains in critical but stable condition in intensive care, she wrote.

ILWU Local 13 member Mike Ljubic

ILWU Local 13 member Mike Ljubic

Ljubic, meanwhile, also remains hospitalized with injuries that were considered critical. He was shot in the back as he protected his wife. Posted on Mike Ljubic’s GoFundMe page Wednesday by Richard Anthony Cox was this update: “I came into work tonight and was told that Mike is breathing on his own and is in and out of consciousness. His good friend Dustin Favazza, and ILWU brother, told me that while he was awake for a moment he was able to recognize his beloved wife Michelle.”

While Ambrose Russo’s injuries were the least serious of the three, the traumatic experience has likely left a lasting emotional scar, his sister said.

Like the others in his group, Russo threw himself over his wife to protect her when everyone hit the ground as the indiscriminate shots were fired. He was treated for a leg wound and came home Monday. He will remain off work for at least a week but is expected to make a full recovery. Friends have started an Ambrose Russo GoFundMe page.

“All those guys were heroes, they all protected their wives and each other,” said Russo’s sister, Josephine Trusela.

Russo, the father of three, was shot in the right thigh just above the knee. The bullet entered from the back and exited the front, leaving him with some shrapnel wounds. He thought at first he’d only been grazed, she said.

“There were five or six people in the ambulance and he was holding (a bullet wound) for a lady who was shot in the neck,” Trusela said, calling her brother “one of the good guys.”

More at the Daily Breeze


San Diego expecting larger cruise season

From Cruise Industry News

The Port of San Diego is preparing to welcome 83 cruise calls during the 2017-2018 cruise season, the port announced, with a wide variety of itineraries visiting this inspiring destination. This season Holland America Line remains a strong presence on San Diego Bay along with continued growth from Disney Cruise Line.

Approximately 242,000 passengers are expected this year, up from last year’s 224,000. The number of cruise calls remains about the same, according to a statement.

Read the rest here


Two Port of Oakland Commissioners get new 4-year terms

Port of Oakland Commissioners Michael Colbruno and Earl Hamlin have been given new 4-year terms by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. The Mayor re-nominated both men to the Board of Port Commissioners last week. They were officially re-appointed by Oakland’s City Council Tuesday night.

Mr. Colbruno and Mr. Hamlin are both former Presidents of the Board. The seven-member Board sets policy and provides management oversite at the Port.

Source: Port of Oakland news release