The following American Shipper article detailing Local 13’s latest antics related to Maersk’s plans to automate Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles, is well written and nicely captures the differences between Terminal Operators and the ILWU.
Click the link below to go to the American Shipper article:
The subject of robots moving cargo on the LA/LB docks is so hot that the President of the Harbor Commission, Jamie Lee, pulled discussion of the permit request by APMT (Maersk Shipping Company) to perform engineering work which will ultimately allow for self-guided straddle carriers.
The reason given for pulling the permit discussions from the agenda was “because of the large number of speakers who had showed up for the meeting.”
Was it the large number of longshoremen, or the number of large longshoremen who showed up to disrupt the meeting, that freaked out the Harbor Commission?
Why are the Local 13 longshoremen so upset?
Did Mark not tell them this is the 3rd dock to convert to robot operations?
Pier 400 is not the 1st, or the 2nd, but the 3rd dock to convert.
The problem is that Local 13 has been lying to their members about the 1st and 2nd robot docks, and have refused to provide the members copies of the agreements for those operations.
John Ochs was correct to point out that the Employers have a contractual right to introduce labor saving devices that dates back to July 1934.
Mark Mendoza knows that Harry Bridges and the ILWU negotiated the M&M Agreement in the 1960’s which is why there are already 2 other robot docks operating in LA/LB.
Time for the ILWU to stop whining and lying to their membership and give them all the information.
Longshore work is changing, but it is not going away.
There will always be longshoremen needed to tie up and let go the ships, lashing work will still be done by humans, and someone will have to service and repair the robots.
Stop whining and start working out or become a mechanic, because it takes muscles to lash and mechanics to service and repair robots.
But first, stop lying and give your members all the information, including the existing robot operation agreements.