Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Port of Long Beach labor deal approved
The Board of Harbor Commissioners for the Port of Long Beach on Monday approved labor agreements that will bring construction jobs to the local community.
The commissioners unanimously approve a labor pact for replacing the Gerald Desmond Bridge and six Pier E projects at Middle Harbor, a $1.2 billion project redeveloping two older terminals into one large terminal.
"Labor made this port," said City Council member Gerrie Schipske. "Labor made the harbor. Labor made Long Beach to be able to have middle income in our community ... to have a good wage with good benefits and be able to have a good living."
The agreement involved approving PLAs. PLAs let union and non-union contractors to bid on projects, but all have to agree to union guidelines, so non-union workers would receive comparable pay and benefits, funded healthcare and workman's compensation, and other similar labor provisions typical in union agreements. All contractors would have to have a mechanism in place for arbitration, apprenticeships and job safety concerns.
Opponents say PLAs are discriminatory. Just 14 percent of U.S. private construction workers belong to a union, according to Dave Everett, government affairs director of the Associated Builders and Contractors in Southern California.
For more of the Long Beach Press-Telegram story: www.presstelegram.com
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