Long Beach

Union leaders are fighting terminal automation at Pier T on Long Beach – Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California 2021-06-10 14:53:26 –

Automatic freight transfer vehicle at Long Beach Container Terminal. Photo courtesy of Long Beach Port.

The union has clashed with a terminal operator at the Port of Long Beach last month after plans to automate operations were announced.

Total Terminals International, the operator of the 385-acre Peer T, met with the leaders of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on May 17 and announced its intention to automate the operation of Long Beach. The representatives were ILWU Local 13, 63, 94.

In a joint statement after the meeting, the union Rambust The plan, the loss of union jobs.

“Foreign-affiliated companies like TTI continue to promote full automation of their terminals.

In our publicly owned U.S. port operations, they need to remember that the port exists for

US and local economic interests, not job destruction or maximum extraction

Foreign interests “. The 13 local presidents, Ramon Ponce de Leon, said in a statement.

TTI did not respond to the request for comment.

The Port of Long Beach, like most US ports, is publicly owned. Port terminals, on the other hand, are leased to terminal operators around the world (often over 60 years at a time).

The Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company owns 80% of TTI through its subsidiary Terminal Investment Limited. South Korea-based HMM owns the remaining 20%.

“ILWU represents American workers, businesses, farmers, communities and schools that depend not only on the movement of cargo, but also on the tax revenues generated by men and women working in the docks,” said 63 local presidents. Mike Podieu said in a statement. “Robots don’t pay taxes, people do.”

Operation of the marine terminal involves replacing manually operated stacking cranes, yard tractors and other cargo handling equipment with unmanned vehicles. Pier T will be the fourth automated terminal in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, including the Long Beach Container Terminal, one of the most advanced facilities in the world.

Advocates of terminal automation, including the Pacific Maritime Association, argue that ports need to be upgraded to remain efficient and competitive. Combined with the ports of San Pedro Bay, it is the busiest complex in the United States, with other trade gateways not moving by half, according to global trade data firm Panjiva.

Last year, ports in Southern California traveled a total of 17.40 million feet worth of units, the standard unit of measure for container transport. Meanwhile, New York Harbor and New Jersey processed less than 7.6 million TEU.

LA and Long Beach cargo volumes have been record numbers for 10 consecutive months. According to Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, the volume of cargo passing through the port of San Pedro Bay is expected to exceed 40 million TEU over the next decade.

“For some terminal operators, automation is considered essential to stay competitive and meet very stringent environmental regulations, especially at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” the PMA said in a statement. He added that he has the right to automate the current terminal. Contract with the union.

2019 survey commissioned by ILWU Canada Claim Automation of the TraPac terminal in Los Angeles has reduced the workforce by 40-50%, and automation of the Long Beach container terminal has resulted in a reduction of 70-75%.

The union claimed in a May statement that a fully automated terminal would leave the economy, the port being vulnerable to cyberterrorism and recently by hackers to Colonial Pipeline, the largest pipeline system in the United States. Citing Attacks and Irish Health. system.

Terminal operators often use automated upgrades to invest in zero-emission equipment. This is important for the port of San Pedro Bay to meet its ambitious environmental goals. Such equipment has already been introduced in LA and Long Beach.

Local 94 President Danny Miranda said the union recognizes the need to reduce emissions and improve efficiency, but “does not sacrifice the interests of offshore businesses or American workers.”

“As the Long Beach Port Commission, the Mayor of Long Beach and the Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach will consider TTI’s request,” Miranda said. [they] Carefully consider the impact of continuous automation on American work and the local community. “

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