PierPASS responds to criticism by Teamsters
Jul 20, 2005 9:52 AM, from staff and wire reports
PierPASS Inc has announced that between 350 and 550 new union jobs are being created by the OffPeak program, which adds new night and Saturday shifts at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach CA beginning July 23.
As of that date, a Traffic Mitigation Fee will be charged for cargo movement through the ports during peak hours (Monday through Friday, 3 am to 6 pm). The proceeds of this fee will be used to open the terminal gates four nights per week and Saturdays.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has criticized the program. "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.
"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."
PierPASS responded to this criticism, asking the Teamsters to play a constructive role by supporting the program.
"The OffPeak program will deliver important benefits to port drivers," said Bruce Wargo, PierPASS president and chief executive officer. "While PierPASS takes no position on the unionization of port drivers, it is unfortunate that the Teamsters are attacking our progressive solution to port congestion problems. We urge the Teamsters to take a closer look at the OffPeak program and its benefits to both local communities and port drivers, and to play a more constructive role by supporting the program."
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