San Diego’s cruise business declined 70 percent in recent years because of the poor economy and violence in Mexico, said the Port’s cruise marketing representative. He anticipates the industry will recover. Port of San Diego photo.
San Diego on Tuesday had the rare occurrence of three cruise ships in port all at once. The region’s once faltering cruise industry is starting to make a comeback.
Three large cruise ships carrying nearly 5,500 passengers arrived in San Diego within a few hours of each other on Tuesday, giving a boost to the tourism industry.
Cruise ships are scheduled to make 77 stops in San Diego in 2013.
More at KPBS
Mosaic K1 potash mine near Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Canada. Mosaic is the second largest Northern American producer of potash, with a current valuation of $26 billion. Analysts at Goldman Sachs claim that Mosaic is ‘the best option for an acquirer seeking to gain a foothold in the industry.’
Potash producer Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS) is soon to become the prime industry target for takeover as shares owned by the founding Cargill family will become unrestricted on May 26th, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
Potential tax consequences associated with the purchase of Mosaic will also expire later this month, opening the door even wider for an outright sale of the company.
BHP Billiton is seen as the front-running buyer candidate.
Mosaic’s stock was up 3.3% Wednesday to $64.30.
More at Mining.com
Port of Long Beach news release:
June 5 meeting set, public comments sought on proposal
The Port of Long Beach has released a recirculated draft environmental impact report examining a proposed grain export facility at Pier T on Terminal Island. A public hearing is scheduled for June 5 to gather comments on the recirculated draft EIR.
Total Terminals International LLC (TTI) has proposed to build a grain export facility that would enable the transfer of grain and a grain product known as “dried distillers grains with solubles” — both products would be used for cattle feed only — from railcars to ocean shipping containers. The facility would capitalize on the existing rail facilities and container yard to receive grain and dried distillers grains for export, with a capacity range of 750,000 to 2.8 million tons per year.
The facility would be built on 11.6 vacant acres adjacent to the current TTI container shipping terminal. A draft EIR was issued last year, but changes to the proposed project required that a recirculated draft EIR be developed and circulated.
The public hearing is scheduled for:
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Long Beach City Hall Council Chambers
333 W. Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802
Parking is available in a structure accessible off Broadway between Chestnut and Cedar avenues.
The public is encouraged to comment on the TTI Grain Terminal Facility recirculated draft EIR, which is available at http://www.polb.com/ceqa.
To send written comments, mail them to:
Richard D. Cameron, Director of Environmental Planning
Port of Long Beach
925 Harbor Plaza
Long Beach, CA 90802
or e-mail them to Cameron@polb.com.
Comments on the recirculated draft EIR will be accepted through Monday, June 17, 2013.
More than 16 million U.S. jobs depend on imports, according to a new study commissioned by the Consumer Electronics Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, and the American Apparel & Footwear Association.
The economic impact study, which was prepared by Laura M. Baughman and Joseph F. Francois of Trade Partnership Worldwide, had several key findings.
Read more at the Journal of Commerce
Port of Longview commissioners agreed to buy a second mobile harbor crane, a purchase that port officials say could help them better compete to unload imported oil refinery equipment needed for a Midwest oil boom.
The port bought its first Liebherr crane in 2008 for $4.7 million to unload large wind-energy equipment imports, which had started booming. Port officials say they lost out on some of that business to the Port of Vancouver, however, because they only had one crane, which meant it took longer to unload the equipment (the Port of Vancouver has two mobile harbor cranes).
More at The Daily News
International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) said Thursday that its first-quarter net profit rose 15% from the year-earlier period, boosted by double-digit growth in its revenue and cargo volume.
ICTSI said net profit in the January-March quarter rose to $40.7 million from $35.4 million in the year-earlier period, while total revenue increased 20% to $209.3 million from $173.8 million.
ICTSI said the increase in volume was due mainly to the continuous growth in both international domestic trade in most of the company’s container ports and the additional volume generated by its new operations in Indonesia and Pakistan. The company also has port operations in China, Brazil, Poland, Ecuador, Madagascar, India, Brunei, U.S., Colombia, Argentina, Croatia, Georgia and Pakistan. It has stopped operations in Syria.
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The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a controversial rail yard near the Port of Los Angeles, setting the stage for possible court challenges, alleging violations of environmental and civil rights laws.
The proposal to build a staging center for trains hauling freight from the largest harbor complex in the nation has raised questions about environmental justice, particularly for nearby minority and working-class neighborhoods of west Long Beach, which could be affected by the project.
Council members approved the Southern California International Gateway and certified its environmental analysis, saying the $500-million project would boost efficiency in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, create jobs, and provide mitigation measures to improve air quality in surrounding communities.
More at the Los Angeles Times
From Marine Log:
A GAO review of a pilot test on the program conducted by TSA found that the test’s results were incomplete, inaccurate, and unreliable for informing Congress and for developing a regulation (rule) about the biometric TWIC card readers used in the program. Challenges related to pilot planning, data collection, and reporting affected the completeness, accuracy, and reliability of the results. These issues call into question the program’s premise and effectiveness in enhancing security.
Eleven years after initiation, DHS has not demonstrated how, if at all, TWIC will improve maritime security.
Read the rest at Marine Log
A possible alternative site for a controversial BNSF Railway project would not allow rails long enough to accommodate goods flow, among other defects, officials told Long Beach Harbor commissioners.
Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines placed an agenda item Monday discussing the use of Pier S, an abandoned oil field at the northeast side of Terminal Island, as a substitute spot for a new rail yard that BNSF officials say will allow trucks to load containers and put them on trains closer to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles instead of having trucks travel 24 miles away to the BNSF Hobart Yard in Commerce.
A BNSF official told commissioners that Pier S could only allow tracks up to 4,000 feet – half or less the typical container train length of 8,000 to 10,000 feet.
More at the Press Telegram
The U.S. Coast Guard has cited the owner of a protest boat that violated a 200-yard safety zone at the Port of Kalama, Wash.
Protest boats have taken to the Columbia River because of a contract dispute between grain terminal operators and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union. The owners of grain terminals in Vancouver, Wash., and Portland have initiated lockouts.
Petty Officer Shawn Eggert says protesters respected the safety zone until Tuesday, when three boats with pro-union supporters got too close to the tug boat Mary H as it tried to maneuver a grain ship.
The Coast Guard boarded one boat to issue a citation and remind the protesters of the zone. The boats left the area.
More at Business Week
From the Oregonian:
Terminal developer Kinder Morgan will not go forward with a proposal to export coal to Asia from the Port Westward industrial park on the Columbia River, a company spokesman said this morning.
Kinder Morgan’s Allen Fore attributed the decision not to seek permits for a coal export terminal to site logistics at the Port of St. Helens industrial park, not the controversy over coal.
Kinder Morgan’s decision knocks another controversial Northwest coal export proposal off the table, leaving three still under consideration, one near Bellingham, Wash., one in Longview, Wash., and one in Boardman.
More at Oregonlive
The accident happened at Columbia Grain’s facility at the Port of Wilma in Whitman County, WA
A 41-year-old Lewiston, Idaho man was hospitalized Monday after falling from an in-ground storage container at Columbia Grain Company at the Port of Wilma Complex and is believed to have suffered a broken back and wrist.
The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office reports Robert C. Richard was working at Columbia Grain when the cover to the storage container gave way causing him to fall 18 feet onto a concrete floor. Clarkston paramedics took Richard to an area hospital and the industrial accident remains under investigation.
From the Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Nine boats with longshore union supporters tried to block a grain ship at the Port of Kalama on Tuesday morning, causing the Coast Guard to board one boat and issue warnings to all the others.
The incident is a spillover of a Vancouver dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and United Grain. Protesters were trying to impede a grain ship that loaded in Vancouver and then headed to Kalama for more grain.
“We’re not ever going to tolerate a scab boat, and it’s going to escalate” if any vessel serviced by non-union workers tries to dock, said Jake Whiteside, president of Longview-based Local 21 of the ILWU. “I’m paying very close attention.”
More at the Daily News
Workers fighting for improved pay and decent working conditions at the Port of Hong Kong have voted to call off their industrial action after accepting an improved wage offer and promises of further negotiations on working conditions – as well as an assurance that there will be no retaliation against workers who participated in the strike. Full details of the settlement are included in a statement from the Union of HongKong Dockers (UHKD) below.
Responding to the news, ITF president Paddy Crumlin commented: “The Union of Hong Kong Dockers, supported by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, has won a real victory: a pay rise and promises of continuing dialogue on working conditions and health and safety. Their bravery has been rewarded. We in the ITF and the wider union movement are proud to have been able to mobilise the international support they deserved and needed.”
He continued: “We trust that Hutchison Port Holdings will now address the issues around the dignity and working conditions of the workers at the port.”
Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), added: “This is an important result for the dock workers of Hong Kong. We congratulate them on their resilience and determination to get a fair deal, and we are proud to have been able to give international solidarity in their quest for justice at work.”
The Union of Hong Kong Dockers has issued the following statement:
Members of UHKD decided in the meeting held this evening to call an end to the 40-day strike in the HIT terminals.
Written confirmation of the new salary plan 2013-2014
On 6 May, UHKD received a written confirmation jointly signed by the four contractors of HIT, Everbest, Comcheung, Lem Wing and Pui Kee via the Labour Department. The four companies confirmed the new salary plan of 9.8% increase in the basic wage for all their employees at different works in Kwai Chung Container Terminals, effective for one year from 1 May 2013. In the workers’ meeting called by UHKD in the evening, members considered the written assurance by the four contractors with the Labour Department a stepforward compared to the verbal, unilateral announcement these companies made on 3 May. Although the strike has not secured a collective bargaining agreement with the employers, the 40-day industrial action has broken the “tradition” of unilateralism and succeeded in forcing the contractors to seal a written confirmation about the pay and working conditions. UHKD believes that this is the first step towards building a mechanism of communication and negotiation between the employers and the union representing a large section of the contractual workers in the Hong Kong terminals.
The four contractors’ written confirmation also gives details committing the employers to “improve the occupational safety and health protection with the terminal companies”, as well as providing the crane operators the right “to stop the machine to take lunch”, and “leave their workplace for toilet” as necessary. Members of UHKD consider that these concrete commitments are important basis for the union to further engage the contractors and HIT in good faith in the future.
Re-employment of the crane operators
While calling an end to the strike, the union is now working to assist the re-employment of its members, particularly the hundred crane operators employed by Global Stevedoring which announced its closure on 18 April. The union is pressing the Labour Department to negotiate with all the contractors for the soonest possible re-employment of these members.
UHKD will see to the end that the contractors abide by their promise of non-retaliation; and that none of its members will be penalized in the future for having taken part in the strike. The union will follow up to demand the contractors and HIT for a mechanism to schedule the rest and lunch breaks, enforce the safety and health provisions, review the salary regularly and eventually establish a collective bargaining mechanism that includes the contractual workers in the terminals.
Back-up from the community and international support
The passionate support and generous donations of the Hong Kong community, the international trade unions and organizations have helped us to sustain the strike for forty days. On behalf of our members, UHKD is thankful to all of you who have been giving us unwavering support. Together with you, we have demonstrated again the importance of workers’ unity in fighting not only for reasonable pay, but also our dignity and our future.
Collective bargaining is a must for Hong Kong trade unions
It is the time for Hong Kong SAR government to re-table the legislation on collective bargaining, scrapped by the government in 1997, in obligations under the ILO Convention No98. The working people in Hong Kong must have an internationally recognized mechanism on collective bargaining to ensure the right to fair negotiation of their working conditions and protection of the unions they belong to.
For more details please contact:
Sam Dawson, ITF
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.
E-mail: dawson_sam at itf.org.uk
Chan Chiu Wai, UHKD/HKCTU
Tel: +(852) 92581054
Email: chiu at hkctu.org.hk
Mining giant Rio Tinto, through its subsidiary Coal & Allied, is a shareholder in PWCS.
Workers at Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) in Newcastle are poised to launch protected industrial action after an impasse in negotiations, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) says.
Workers at the Kooragang Island and Carrington sites have voted on a motion to take action and it has received strong support from the workers, MUA assistant national secretary Ian Bray says.
“PWCS anti-union proposals are seeking to undermine the safety and health of workers, tear up longstanding settlement procedure of contract issues, and radically change the scope of matters that can be arbitrated,” Mr Bray said.
Talks between union members and PWCS have been continuing for eight months.
Mining giant Rio Tinto, through its subsidiary Coal & Allied, is a shareholder in PWCS.
More at Nine MSN