PORTLAND, OR (August 8, 2012) – Yesterday, the Port of Portland made a last minute addition to the agenda for today’s Port of Portland Commission Meeting. In a move that the Port characterized as a “Cost-Sharing Agreement Between the Port of Portland and ICTSI Oregon, Inc.,” Port officials proposed to allocate $4,664,356 to ICTSI to off-set “a portion of ICTSI’s incremental operational costs and lost revenues.”
Today, by a margin of 6 to 1, Port Commissioners approved a $4.7 million payout of public funds to private company and Terminal 6 tenant ICTSI. ICTSI is the global terminal operator that leased Terminal 6 from the Port two years ago when the Port made the strategic decision to privatize the terminal and get out of the terminal operating business.
According to Bill Wyatt, Port Executive Director, the $4.7 million dollar cash infusion “helps ICTSI remain viable”, a statement that makes no sense given ICTSI’s 2012 first quarter profits.
“The Port is subsidizing operational costs and replacing supposed lost revenues for a private company whose net profit was $35.4 million in the first quarter of 2012,” said Leal Sundet, ILWU Coast Committeeman. “This is 24% higher than the $28.5 million net profit that ICTSI made in the first quarter of 2011. Subsidizing a company that made over $130 million dollars in profits last year alone is irresponsible and corrupt stewardship of public assets.”
In a May 12, 2010 Executive Summary provided by Keith Leavitt, Properties General Manager, to Port Commissioners prior to their vote to approve the Terminal 6 lease with ICTSI, Leavitt stated that under the Terminal 6 lease agreement ICTSI would be “responsible to pay all costs and incur all liabilities associated with the operation of the terminal.” Today’s action by the Port to subsidize operations and replace the lost revenues of a multi-million dollar global terminal operator is in direct conflict with the Port’s position that the now two-year old lease would relieve the Port of responsibility for the operation and any associated liability.
The ILWU is currently in a labor dispute with ICTSI and has obtained binding contractual rulings that the work at issue in the labor dispute must be assigned to the ILWU. The ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association then sued ICTSI for failing to follow its collective bargaining agreement. Likewise, PMA member carriers directed ICTSI in writing to assign the work on carrier-owned refrigerated containers to ILWU members. The labor contract has been built over the past eight decades and covers approximately 70 waterfront employers and 30 ILWU local unions at 26 commercial ports in Oregon, Washington and California.
ILWU Coast Longshore Division news release