Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Buscaino announce agreement between ILWU, APMT, and PMA; launch Blue Ribbon Commission on the future of work

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced landmark agreements between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 13 and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), establishing a workforce training program throughout the San Pedro Bay complex which will protect jobs and power Los Angeles’ economy long into the future. 

These agreements — combined with the establishment of a Blue Ribbon Commission to study and make recommendations on the future of work at the Port of Los Angeles — will form the basis for an ongoing effort to ensure a competitive, sustainable Port that continues to generate good, middle-class jobs.

“In Los Angeles, we know that if we don't guide the future, workers and communities can be left behind,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This workforce training program will ensure today’s waterfront workers are equipped for tomorrow’s jobs, and continue to support the harbor community. I will never stop fighting to preserve good, middle-class jobs and protect the hardworking women and men who power our economy — and today’s agreement is a start, and not an end, to our work.”

Since April, Mayor Garcetti has convened both parties at City Hall and been directly involved in negotiations. The agreement follows several months of negotiations between the ILWU and APM Terminals (APMT) over the automation of Pier 400 — the largest terminal at the Port of Los Angeles.
 
Additionally, a Blue Ribbon Commission proposed by Councilmember Joe Buscaino will be convened in the coming months to study the issue of automation and the future of the work at the Port of Los Angeles, and will provide recommendations to Mayor Garcetti and the full City Council.

“While APM and ILWU have come to an agreement this week, I will continue to support our longshore men and women as they fight to protect jobs and the future of work in the United States,” said Councilmember Joe Buscaino. “The agreement is not the end of this conversation, but the beginning and I am calling for the City of Los Angeles to create a Blue Ribbon Commission on the future of work and automation in our city. We must prepare for the future today because as this fight has shown the future is already here."

“The ILWU, PMA, and APM Terminals are at the front lines of what the future of work will be in California,” said Julie A. Su, California Labor Secretary. “This agreement demonstrates what is possible when labor and high-road employers plan together for their future, partner on training that meets the demand for new skills, career mobility, and competitiveness, and commit to jobs that guarantee economic security for California’s working people.”

The workforce training program will provide maintenance, repair, up-skill and re-skill training for up to 900 registered longshore workers and mechanics. The ILWU and APM Terminals agreement calls for the ILWU mechanics to begin familiarization and training of the new APM equipment in the coming weeks as it begins a modernization project on its terminal. APM Terminals has agreed to defer additional automated-related projects until at least July 1, 2022. 

The workforce training program will be developed in close cooperation with the ILWU Local 13 and PMA, and a location at the Port of Los Angeles for a permanent longshore training complex will soon be identified. 

“I’m pleased that we can begin the much-needed training that moves the cargo in and out of the nation’s busiest port complex,” said Ray Familathe, President of ILWU Local 13. “This is a bittersweet transition for our members as we move forward with the extremely challenging issues that affect jobs and our local community. It’s also important that the Blue Ribbon Commission takes a hard look at the challenging issues and comes up with concrete recommendations.”
 
“This agreement calls for a comprehensive, fully-paid training program to re-skill and up-skill longshore workers to equip them for the next generation of work on the waterfront,” said Jim McKenna, CEO of the Pacific Maritime Association. “This will help longshore workers prepare for the port jobs of the future.”

“We believe that it is critical to the continued success of the Port of Los Angeles that the ILWU is trained for the jobs of the future,” APM Terminals said in a statement. “As we prepare to modernize Pier 400, we are glad to be working in partnership with the ILWU on implementing a training program that complements the changes at Pier 400.”

“These agreements, along with the formation of a commission that will tackle these issues in-depth, are significant steps forward and shows that common ground can be found,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “I’m grateful to our stakeholders for sticking with these months of negotiations and thankful to Mayor Garcetti for facilitating the dialogue.”

In 2018, the Port of Los Angeles moved more cargo than at any time in its 111-year history — nearly 9.5 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), 1.2 percent more than 2017’s record-breaking year. It was the third consecutive year of record-breaking volumes.