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.

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

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South Korea completes its first Arctic voyage via Northern Sea Route

Excerpts from Port Technology:

Hyundai Glovis, a South Korean shipping liner, has completed the country’s first voyage to transport cargo between Asia and Europe by the Arctic Sea after arriving at Sapo Quay of Gwangyang Port in South Korea on October 21, 2017.

South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said the pilot operation will “serve as a lesson” for other shipping companies in setting up strategies in the Arctic area.

The South Korean government has plans to support the South Korean shipping companies so that they can successfully tap into the Northern Sea Route.

In August 2017, China transported steel products on bulk vessel weighing in at 19,000 tons in a pilot operation through the NSR.

More at Port Technology

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House reps: Shore up security funding at LA, Long Beach ports

Excerpts from the LA Daily News:

While praising efforts to protect the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports from terrorist and cyber attacks, members of Congress aired concerns Monday about threats to public safety and the economy if federal funding for maritime security programs isn’t raised to meet new threats.

At a rare on-site hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee at the Port of L.A., members of the panel and other Southern California representatives sounded generally pleased with what they heard. Officials from the two local ports, the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and the longshore union testified about what has been done to protect the facilities in the wake of two security scares earlier this year.

Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-Carson, whose district includes the Port of L.A., asked if CBP staffing was sufficient.

No, said Ray Familathe, vice president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, contending that having security scans unavailable on weekends leaves workers unable to process cargo.

More at the LA Daily News

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Port of Longview candidate wants to 'loosen port’s ties to the ILWU' and open port to non-union labor

‘That worked well with EGT didn’t it?’ said Averett, referring to the 2011 labor unrest when the ILWU clashed with EGT over jurisdiction.

Excerpts from an article titled ‘Labor, fossil fuels and taxes take center stage in port race’ in The Daily News:

Port Commissioner Doug Averett is defending his seat against Kent Preston, who has twice run unsuccessfully for the role.

while Preston is critical of the port’s labor agreement with the longshoremen’s union, Averett sees it as vital to the port’s operations.

Preston wants to loosen the port’s ties to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and make it easier for other unions or contracted non-union labor to perform typical longshoremen tasks at the port.

“That worked well with EGT didn’t it?” said Averett, referring to the 2011 labor unrest when the ILWU clashed with EGT over jurisdiction. “(Preston) acts like he doesn’t understand the waterfront. The longshoremen have jurisdiction for cargo activity at public ports coastwide. … If he believes he can somehow (change that), he’s sadly mistaken.”

More at The Daily News

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath was among the hundreds of union members who were arrested, pepper sprayed, clubbed, and subjected to abuse for standing up for good jobs at the EGT terminal in Longview, WA, in 2011 and 2012. EGT reached a collective bargaining agreement with the ILWU in 2012, and another in 2017. Photo by Dawn Des Brisay, ILWU Local 40.

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath was among the hundreds of union members who were arrested, pepper sprayed, clubbed, and subjected to abuse for standing up for good jobs at the EGT terminal in Longview, WA, in 2011 and 2012. EGT reached a collective bargaining agreement with the ILWU in 2012, and another in 2017. Photo by Dawn Des Brisay, ILWU Local 40.

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Disney cruise line returns to all Mexican ports

The Disney Cruise Line has said they will be expanding their San Diego season by offering a variety of cruises to Mexico ports in 2019.

The company says that from March to May of 2019, they will again be offering Mexico cruises that will dock in popular ports such as Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán. The Mexico cruises will depart from the port of San Diego.

Cruises from San Diego to Mexico began to decline several years ago, which is when Carnival Cruise Lines discontinued its year-round ships to Mexico’s Baja California coast.

More at Riviera Maya News

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Anti-coal activists dressed as zombies in protest of Oakland’s controversial coal development

Photo by Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group

From the East Bay Times:

Michael Kaufman’s Halloween costume this year had a political message to it.

“I’m a no coal in Oakland zombie,” he said, his face covered in dust-colored makeup. “This is a coal-pocalypse.”

Kaufman is a member of the No Coal in Oakland group, hatched to protest developer Phil Tagami’s plans to transport coal through the city to a terminal he’s building on the former Oakland Army Base. Kaufman and about 100 other zombies, from school children to union members, gathered on the eve of Halloween for a “Zombie March on Coal” to the developer’s home. [Note: ILWU Local 10 also opposes the export of coal at this site.]

More at the East Bay Times

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Port of Everett to seek construction bids for South Terminal project

From Progressive Railroading:

The Port of Everett Commission in Washington has authorized its staff to solicit construction bids for the $36 million South Terminal modernization project.

The project, combined with the double rail siding now under construction, will ensure the port will be able to accommodate the next generation of over-dimensional cargo, including aerospace parts, port officials said in a press release.

Upon completion, the dock will be able to accommodate two, 100-foot gauge rail-mounted container cranes and provide the vaults for shore power. The bid package is expected to be issued late next month.

More at Progressive Railroading

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Commonwealth Club building preserves ILWU history

Honoring longshore history: Bay Area Pensioner President Lawrence Thibeaux and ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams in front of the plaque commemorating the 1934 Waterfront Strike outside of the Commonwealth Club’s new headquarters.

Excerpts from The Dispatcher:

The story begins almost ten years ago when the Commonwealth Club – America’s oldest public affairs forum – began searching for a site to build their new headquarters in San Francisco. They discovered a long-abandoned property with an old collapsed office building facing the Embarcadero waterfront in front and Steuart Street in back. They soon realized this run-down property served as the office for longshore workers in Local 38-79 of the International Longshoremen’s Association between 1933-1935 when they struggled to build a union that eventually became today’s ILWU.

“Other developers might have just demolished the old building and ignored the history, but the Commonwealth Club took it seriously and worked with us,” said ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams. He explained that ILWU officers were contacted early by the Commonwealth Club and were invited to help preserve the building’s unique history. The International officers assembled a committee to assist with historical documentation for the site, consisting of ILWU staffer Robin Walker, who serves as the ILWU’s Librarian, Archivist and Education Director; ILWU historian Harvey Schwartz; and Bay Area pensioner John Fisher. The effort resulted in a productive collaboration that lasted years as the project unfolded.

Read the full article at ILWU.org

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Bunge-Glencore truce ending?

From Reuters:

Shares of Bunge Ltd. rose on news that an agreement that temporarily stopped Glencore from making a hostile bid will expire early next year.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the existence of the agreement and noted it might signal that Glencore is still interested in Bunge but is biding its time.

Bunge had rebuffed a takeover approach by Glencore in May.

More at the Western Producer

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Port of Olympia port commission race important for waterfront jobs

From an article in The Olympian titled ‘Port of Olympia candidates raise $120,000 for campaigns — and more money is on the way’:

A lot of money has been raised for the four people running for seats on the Port of Olympia commission, and more money is about to be spent, according to state Public Disclosure Commission filings.

A political action committee has been created called Coalition for a Better Thurston that has received contributions from Weyerhaeuser Co., Port Blakely, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in Olympia. All three have ties to the port’s marine terminal: Weyerhaeuser exports logs through the port, and so does Pacific Lumber and Shipping, a Port Blakely division. Longshore workers handle cargo at the port.

ILWU business agent Robert Rose and other longshore workers have raised concerns about the future of the marine terminal, and have wondered whether Zita, McClure’s opponent, would work to close it.

More at The Olympian

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Port of Coos Bay board chief highlights infrastructure improvements

From Port Strategy:

Maintaining and improving aging infrastructure remains a priority at the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, the president of the port’s Board of Commissioners Dave Kronsteiner has said.

In a letter in the port’s 2016/2017 Annual Report, Mr Kronsteiner said that the work continued to take precedence as many of the assets owned by the OIPCB became theirs after “significant deferred maintenance”.

However, the port had managed to make infrastructure improvements on the Coos Bay rail line, the Charleston Marina complex and maritime facilities, the board president explained.

More at Port Strategy

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Scapegoating a law that protects good jobs will not help Puerto Rico

From The Hill:

More than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the situation remains dire. Forty percent of the island is without running water. Many roads and bridges are impassable. The electric grid is largely offline. The people of Puerto Rico desperately need and are entitled to help from the U.S. government. But instead of acting swiftly to pass an aid package, which Congress finally did [Monday] night, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) had threatened to hold up relief unless Puerto Rico is permanently exempted from the Jones Act, a law that protects good U.S. jobs.

The problem? Gutting the Jones Act is a misguided proposal being fueled by misinformation. Repealing this law will not solve Puerto Rico’s immediate humanitarian crisis, nor will it fix the country’s long-term financial problems. Since 1920, this law has created thousands of jobs for American mariners, shipbuilders and others in the maritime sector by ensuring goods shipped between two U.S. ports be carried on vessels made, owned and crewed by Americans. Today, the Jones Act supports 500,000 jobs and is vital to national security by guaranteeing the U.S. military can rely on American vessels and skilled mariners in times of conflict and crises.

Read the rest at The Hill

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Backers of Port of Seattle-area sports arena switch tactics

From a Seattle Times article titled ‘Sodo group says KeyArena renovation should be public, not private, process’:

Yet another twist in this city’s ongoing arena saga now sees entrepreneur Chris Hansen and his group adopting a strategy once used against him by the Port of Seattle and its allies.

Hansen’s land-use lawyer, Jack McCullough, has submitted a letter to the city arguing that KeyArena renovation should be considered a “public” and not “private” process.

If this sounds familiar as a strategy, it should: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local No. 19 used the same public-vs.-private and “alternative sites” argument in its attempts to thwart Hansen’s project in Sodo four years ago. The union has been a key ally to the Port of Seattle in its battle to limit sports sprawl in Sodo, with both arguing that Hansen’s planned arena and surrounding ancillary development would hamper neighborhood traffic.

More at the Seattle Times

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ILWU Local 4 joins community in fighting ‘big oil money’ in Vancouver port election

From an article titled ‘When Big Money Lands In A Small Vancouver Election’ at Oregon Public Broadcasting:

The longshoremen’s union back port commission candidate Don Orange and have spoken out against the proposed oil terminal. If elected, Orange could shift the power of the three-member port commission board against the project for the first time. That outcome could spell the end of the terminal.

After candidate Kris Greene finished his stump speech at the event, a longshoreman named Cager Clabaugh stepped forward and motioned for the mic.

Clabaugh told Greene that he and his colleagues are the ones who will be working at the port should a fiery oil train derailment or other accident happen at the proposed terminal.

Clabaugh wanted to know if he could trust Greene’s word that he wants what’s best for Vancouver, despite all the money and influence coming from Vancouver Energy. [So far, Greene has raised nearly $600,000, with 87 percent coming from Vancouver Energy and backers of the project.]

“Tell us why we should believe that you are going to support our best interests over the person with the biggest check,” Clabaugh said pointedly.

Read the rest at Northwest Public Radio

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ILWU Local 21 cautions against ‘EGT-type situation’ as Port of Longview OK’s new lease

From The Daily News:

Eight days after reaching a tentative deal with International Raw Materials, Port of Longview commissioners Wednesday agreed to enter a new five-year lease with the terminal operator, in what is expected to bring millions of dollars in new revenue and dozens of jobs to the port.

The commissioners gave the green light on the lease despite opposition from the local longshoremen’s union, which said it still has jurisdictional issues to work out with IRM.

“Once again we’re getting into an EGT-type situation,” said Billy Roberts, president of ILWU Local 21, referring to the union’s highly-charged battle over a lease with EGT in 2011, which lead to protests and several arrests. “This is like packing up and moving across the country when you don’t have a house. At this time, we still have a lot of work to do … and we’re not in support of this project.”

Commissioner Jeff Wilson said the lease explicitly states that IRM will have to honor the port’s working agreement with the ILWU.

More at The Daily News

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