Representatives of the West Coast Lengthy-Time period Employment Union responded on Twitter to a brand new examine sponsored by the affiliation representing carriers and terminal operators, which highlighted the advantages of port automation. The union, which has persistently opposed makes an attempt to extend automation, known as the report predictable “self-serving” and, whereas saying it didn’t have time to evaluation the report, sought to marginalize the report with full job losses by automation.
The Pacific Maritime Affiliation and the Worldwide Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) every introduced the beginning of formal treaty negotiations to start on Might 12 in San Francisco. That is the primary time in seven years that each events have gone to the negotiating desk to signal a brand new treaty that applies to all ports on the West Coast. Final yr, the PMA representing employers proposed a further extension of the contract for one yr, which the unions rejected. The present employment contract expires on July 1, and a few folks have been ready for a deal prematurely, however they’re additionally not anticipating a crippled strike. In 2014 and 2015, the division delayed work in varied ports on the West Coast throughout earlier contract negotiations. This has led to a four-month outage, which may be tough, particularly if it occurs once more this yr, because the port has problem managing congestion.
“The report is clearly a self-serving doc on the a part of the employment contract and worse than an insult to all staff who see their work externally on machines,” a letter from Frank Ponce De Leon, a member of the ILWU Coast Committee in response to the PMA. a union report outlining a “mutually useful technique” with labor good points for unions reminiscent of productiveness and effectivity. “The elevated productiveness required by the PMA on the two automated terminals means much less work on the different terminals and a whole lack of employment for Longshore workers,” Ponce De Leon replied. The PMA addresses all points, from the environmental advantages to the long-term challenges going through ports when it comes to future progress and competitors. They carried out a examine commissioned by a professor on the College of California, Berkeley, with information from a area automation firm that examined the affect of automation on two port terminals in San Pedro that might deal with automation.
“With restricted bodily progress and sophisticated incoming capability, automation will be capable of increase cargo capability by suspending port terminals,” the PMA wrote. The PMA-initiated report states that two automated terminal containers generally run twice as quick as standard terminals, and TEU throughput is 44 % increased when utilizing autonomous terminals. automobile and crane.
The report says that automation will increase ILWU jobs and job alternatives. They stated hourly wages had greater than doubled in comparison with ranges at non-automated terminals and that the overall workforce within the ports of Los Angeles and Lengthy Seaside had grown greater than within the different 27 ports on the West Coast.
“We have not seen a normal enhance in productiveness in ports, only a sport to cowl the human price of job losses,” stated Ponce De Leon. “The very objective of automation is to switch human staff with machines, and on this case to hurt a U.S.-based employee and the local people, merely to extend the revenue of most foreigners. Possession of terminal operators.”
The union reiterated its long-held view that automation prices jobs for its members. He claims that each terminals can automate the rise in volumes on the quantity price of the opposite terminals.
The battle to automate operations in California ports started 20 years in the past, when the union agreed to permit operators to extend using the expertise. In its 2008 settlement, the union agreed that terminals may use a restricted quantity of automation, however was strongly criticized by the union’s nationwide group, which additionally opposed any automation. Since then, ILWU has blocked additional automation exams.