AAPA Seaports Advisory

Labor Relations: Long Beach, Vancouver (BC)

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

Long Beach Commissioners Approve Portwide Project Labor Agreement

The board of harbor commissioners on May 23 approved a plan to expand the Port of Long Beach’s use of locally hired, disadvantaged and veteran workers for more than $700 million in construction projects.

Under the new project labor agreement (PLA) with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, at least 40 percent of the work on port construction projects must be performed by residents of Los Angeles and Orange counties, 15 percent by disadvantaged workers and 10 percent by veterans. The PLA also encourages apprenticeship and training programs and establishes hiring programs such as job fairs near project sites.

The five-year agreement covers $717 million in port infrastructure projects, including rail improvements, terminal redevelopment and public safety buildings.

"I am so pleased that the agreement approved by the harbor commission ensures that the port is reaching out to local residents and disadvantaged workers to create good-paying opportunities," said Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán. "And for the first time, we’ve added outreach to veterans. This agreement ensures ample, well-qualified workers on port projects and is a win-win for our city and region."

The new PLA builds on the port’s existing labor pacts affecting $1.6 billion in construction projects during the past five years, and resulting in more than 5,300 local jobs. Existing pacts cover the Middle Harbor terminal modernization and Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement projects.

As many as 15 percent of those hired for Middle Harbor construction and 26 percent of Gerald Desmond Bridge construction were disadvantaged workers, including individuals who were unemployed, single parents, lacking a General Education Development (GED) certification or high school diploma, or apprentices with less than 15 percent of the apprenticeship hours required to graduate to journey level.

"We’ve been incredibly successful with these agreements," said Port CEO Jon Slangerup. "It’s good policy to invest in local workers when we’re making these upgrades to enhance our competitiveness in the global market."

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Recognized for Outstanding Employment Equity

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has received an Employment Equity Achievement Award from the Government of Canada.

The award recognizes federally regulated private-sector employers for their commitment to creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. The awards also provide a forum for showcasing and sharing best practices in implementing employment equity.

The Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour presented the award to the port authority – which has a workforce of approximately 340 people – for its representation of women and visible minorities in the transportation industry.

The port authority tracks progress on achieving employment equity with a consultant who confidentially gathers employee data and measures it against Canadian labor market statistics. The evaluations indicate how the port authority is performing against other companies at employing women, visible minorities, people with disabilities, and Aboriginal Peoples. The port authority’s Employment Equity Committee reviews the information and develops strategies to remedy identified gaps. Strategies may include targeted recruitment for specific designated groups or creating opportunities to introduce employees from designated groups to the workforce.

"Workplace diversity in our organization is a strength we are proud of," said Sandi Case, the port authority’s vice president, human resources and labor relations. "For us, it’s a reflection of the communities we live and work in and it allows us to benefit from the unique skills and experience that diverse work teams bring to the organization. We are honored to be one of the first organizations to receive an Employment Equity Achievement Award in this inaugural year."

Back to AAPA Seaports Advisory

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn