More Pier Pressure

It had been reported by the media that the Teamsters supported extended gate hours at the LA/Long Beach complex, and that trucking companies and drivers actually considered PierPASS as a program that could assist trucking companies to “leverage” its pricing power. The FINANCIAL NEWS, on July 15th, printed a Press Release from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and a careful reading of this release fails to reveal an endorsement of any kind. Judge for yourself.


“Program Forces Drivers to Work Longer Hours Without Additional Pay

“Washington, July 15/PRNewswire/ — Marine terminal operators in partnership with PierPass have leveled yet another attack on the independent owner-operators that transport cargo at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Waterfront Coalition is instituting an off-peak hours incentive program that will extend the already long hours port drivers are forced to work each day.

“‘PierPass in its current form will only cause more problems for motor carriers and drivers that operate out of Long Beach and Los Angeles,’ said Chuck Mack, Director of Teamsters Port Division. ‘This program only benefits the shippers and hurts the motor carriers and truckers.’

“PierPass is designed to offer cargo owners incentive to move cargo during off-peak hours — nights and weekends — and help alleviate the congestion that plagues our nation’s ports. However, the unacceptable byproducts of this plan will be longer hours for port drivers and additional financial burdens for motor carriers.

“‘Drivers will be forced to work both day and night and risk violating the hours of service regulations to keep pace with the increased workload,’ Mack said. ‘Pierpass also places additional financial obligations on motor carriers for nighttime security and operational expenses, without offering even a portion of the new funds obtained through the surcharge assessed to the shippers.’

“The Teamsters have planned a rally at the Port of Los Angeles Administration Building to raise awareness of the problems with Pierpass. The event is scheduled for Friday, July 22, at 12:00 p.m.

“Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada.”

That’s the entire Press Release. In your judgement, is there even a semblance of “support” in those words? Is it possible that well-known maritime reporters are putting a spin on comments issued by those who are objecting to the Pierpass program?

[And since when is coercion looked upon as an “incentive”?]