Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Port of Los Angeles Approves Labor Agreement

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the next decade, millions of dollars of construction projects at the Port of Los Angeles may soon be subject to a union-driven agreement that guarantees local hiring and prevailing wages for workers.

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners on Thursday voted unanimously to support a 10-year project labor agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council.

The contract – which will come before the Los Angeles City Council for approval in the coming weeks – will encompass at least 38 projects worth $780 million, including wharf, rail, shore power and marine oil terminal upgrades, with more projects to come, according to the port.

Used at various city agencies and school districts, a project labor agreement allows workers to receive benefits negotiated by the trades council, including prevailing wages and health benefits.

In exchange, the port receives no disruption from union strikes as well as guarantees in local hiring – about a third of the workforce must come from the local harbor and under-served Los Angeles communities – and ensures that projects are done on time and on budget.

“The men and women who clock in every day at the Port of Los Angeles are a driving force in the global economy,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This project labor agreement will create new career opportunities that Angelenos deserve, and bring stability to operations as we invest billions in infrastructure that will define the future of the port.”

This newest contract builds upon a five-year agreement, which covered 26 completed and in-progress construction projects totaling close to $848 million, including the Berth 200 Rail Yard, TraPac Container Terminal and the South Wilmington Grade Separation projects.