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.

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


Dockworker families pull together as workers recover from Las Vegas shooting

Note: ILWU Local 13 Brothers Mike Ljubic, Doug Cotter and Ambrose Russo are among the injured. Please continue to show them your love and support as they recover from this traumatic event. Our hearts break for all of the fallen and injured in Las Vegas.

From the Daily Breeze:

Two Port of Los Angeles dockworkers who were shot in the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival concert in Las Vegas remained hospitalized Tuesday.

Mike Ljubic, a 41-year-old crane mechanic from San Pedro, underwent two surgeries Monday for injuries he sustained from a gunshot wound in the back. Ljubic was shielding his wife, Michelle, when he was shot Sunday night.

Doug Cotter, 48, of Garden Grove — among the group of friends with Ljubic — also sustained injuries that were more serious than originally reported. He was shot in the arm but the bullet reportedly traveled to his intestines, according to friends.

Meanwhile, friends and co-workers from Local 13 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have set up a GoFundMe page for Ljubic, the father of two young children.

“He is doing better,” said John Iacono, who was with the group but was not injured. Iacono and the others remain in Las Vegas as their friends recover. “Obviously, it will be a long road.”

More at the Daily Breeze


ILWU thoughts and prayers are with Las Vegas victims and families; Longshoreman injured protecting wife

Note: We are shocked and saddened by the senseless massacre that occurred in Las Vegas last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their families. We especially pray for the recovery of our ILWU union brother who was critically injured while protecting his wife. This act of bravery and love symbolizes a true hero. We will continue to pray and support all those that have been effected by this heinous act.

From an article titled ‘San Pedro crane operator shot while shielding his wife during Las Vegas mass shooting’ in the Daily Breeze:

A San Pedro crane operator was shot in the back while protecting his wife at the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas where at least 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured in the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history.

Mike Ljubic, who works at the Port of Los Angeles, was undergoing surgery this morning, according to friends. He reportedly was in critical condition but is expected to survive.

Several Harbor Area residents were in Las Vegas over the weekend when the shooting occurred Sunday night.

More in the Daily Breeze


Port of Seattle recognizes season’s millionth cruiser

From Seatrade Cruise:

A couple on Holland America Line’s Eurodam found themselves at the center of an impromptu party Saturday as the Port of Seattle recognized the millionth passenger to pass through its cruise terminals this season.

This is the first year the port reached the million-passenger milestone. Port of Seattle commissioner John Creighton and HAL president Orlando Ashford presented Linda Ellis and Ted Finn with a gift basket.

The port said Seattle’s cruise business generates more than $500m in annual revenue, providing more than 4,000 jobs and $18.9m in state and local taxes, with each homeported vessel generating $2.7m for the local economy.

Read the rest here


Commodity trader Louis Dreyfus sees better signs as first-half profits rise

From Reuters:

Louis Dreyfus, one of the world’s top grain trading firms, pointed to improved signs for its commodity trading activities as it posted higher first-half profits in the face of a continuation of high staple crops supplies.

Along with its peers, Louis Dreyfus has been overhauling its businesses as margins for buying, selling and shipping agricultural goods have been eroded by large stockpiles and reduced price volatility.

The trading house reported on Thursday group first-half net profits of $160 million, up from $135 million a year ago, while its segment operating profits also rose to $602 million, from $546 million last year.

More at Reuters


Labor advocates from US and Canada say Trump’s NAFTA proposal fails to protect workers

From Reuters:

The United States on Tuesday unveiled draft text on labor standards during the negotiations on modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement as top officials from Canada, the United States and Mexico joined talks in Ottawa.

“The U.S. proposal makes no sense to me,” Jerry Dias, president of Canada’s UNIFOR labor union, told reporters. “The American proposal is the TPP proposal with a bit of a twist, which isn’t going to resolve the issues” of better working conditions.

U.S. Congressman Sandy Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, who was in Ottawa at the weekend, cautioned on Monday that the Democratic party would not support a revised NAFTA agreement without “dramatic change” in Mexico’s labor standards.

Read the rest here


New Republican NLRB majority may start undoing Obama-era labor laws

From Fortune:

The National Labor Relations Board may soon start unwinding Obama-era legislation seen by industry as favorable to labor. On Monday, Senate Republicans confirmed a second Trump nominee to the five-member board, giving it a Republican majority for the first time in the current administration.

William Emanuel will join President Trump’s first nominee, Marvin Kaplan, who was confirmed in August. He is a corporate lawyer based in Los Angeles, California — a position that led Senate Democrats, including Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Sen Patty Murray (D-Wash), to worry that he would favor industry over workers on a board they view as tasked with protecting fair working conditions and the right to collective bargaining.

More at Fortune