Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Plan Envisions New $15M Dispatch Hall for SoCal Dockers

Dockers at the Southern California ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles may soon have new digs under a plan awaiting approval by Los Angeles port officials.

A new $15 million International Longshore and Warehouse Union dispatch hall, measuring nearly 33,000 square feet, is being proposed to replace the 9,200-square-foot 1940s-era hall in Wilmington currently being used.

The new hall, with a tentative completion date in 2013, would also boost the number of parking spaces from the about 50 at the current hall to more than 800 at the new location about a half-mile away at the intersection of Anaheim and Alameda streets.

The plan would also consolidate an additional smaller satellite hall, also in Wilmington and used mainly by ILWU casuals, into the new facility.

The union and the two ports have been looking at various sites for a new hall within the two ports for close to a decade.

The governing board for the Port of Los Angeles is set to vote in May on a nominal $1-per-year 32-year lease to the Pacific Maritime Association for the site of the proposed hall.

The PMA, which represents the shipping industry and hires the dockers, will pay for the construction of the new hall and the ILWU will sublease the site for $2,050 a month to help the PMA recoup the construction costs.