- Terelle Jerricks
Truckers’ Collective Enter Bargaining Agreement with Toll Group
SAN PEDRO — Truckers and their employer, Australian logistics company Toll Group, entered an agreement Jan. 10, at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Under the terms of the deal, reached by about 65 drivers and Toll Group, most drivers will receive an hourly increase from $12.72 to $19, a pension plan and the company will pay 95 percent of each driver’s health care costs.
Hilda Solis Resigns
WASHINGTON D.C. — Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced her resignation Jan. 9 citing an opportunity to look at her life’s past and future over the holidays.
Solis had been widely expected to resign to run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Solis is a tireless advocate in the environmental field and in middle-class working families rights’. She fought hard, attacking issues such as minimum wage rates and domestic violence issues. She fought in implementing the Green Jobs Act, which gave veterans, at-risk youths and those well under the federal poverty limit, an opportunity to raise some money and contribute positively to the society.
A specific date of resignation is yet to be announced.
Ground breaks on Gerald Desmond Bridge Project
LONG BEACH — Officials broke ground, Jan. 8, on the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach.
Increased volumes of traffic and weight have in the past deteriorated the Gerald Desmond Bridge.
With more than 30 percent funding coming from the federal government, the project will aim to modernize its aging infrastructure and create about 4,000 jobs for the next five years to stabilize the link in the goods movement network.
Garcia Appointed to California Coastal Commission
LONG BEACH — President pro tem of the California Senate Darrell Steinberg announced Jan. 9 that Long Beach Vice Mayor Robert Garcia will become California’s newest Coastal Commissioner.
The Senate Rules Committee, which is chaired by Steinberg, made the announcement at after the Rules Committee meeting in Sacramento.
Garcia will become 1 of 12 members on the state commission. Garcia was nominated to serve on the commission by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He received strong support from State Senator Ricardo Lara, Mayor Bob Foster, the California Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, Heal the Bay and the National Resources Defense Council.
The Coastal Commission partners with coastal cities and counties to plan and regulate the use of land and water in the coastal zone, including construction of buildings, the change of intensity of land, or public access to coastal waters.
Garcia will be seated as a new Commissioner at the February meeting on the Commission.
Capstone Pension Deal Announced Between Long Beach and IAM
LONG BEACH — On Jan. 9, the City of Long Beach and the International Association of Machinists announced an agreement to reduce pension costs.
City officials believe the deal will bring an estimated savings of about $40.1 million in the general fund and $125.5 million in all funds through 2023 to Long Beach. This translates to an ongoing annual savings of about $3.8 million in the general fund and $11.8 million in all funds.
The agreement establishes a new pension tier for the Machinists hired after January 1, 2013, with a benefit formula of 2 percent for each year worked and eligibility for full retirement at age 62. Retirement compensation would be based on a three-year final average salary. All Machinists would pay their full share of employee retirement costs.
The Machinists’ contract would be extended one year through September 30, 2014, with no additional raises scheduled, and a provision of no further Machinists layoffs through September 30, 2013.
The agreement will be brought to the Long Beach City Council in open session.
New Times Papers Sold
Voice Media Group announced Jan. 9 that it sold Seattle Weekly to Sound Publishing, a Washington state-based news group which operates 36 community newspapers. Separately, SF Weekly has been acquired by the San Francisco Newspaper Company, which owns the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
The company stated that the sale would allow for growth opportunities in mobile and online platforms, as well as developments in digital offerings in other markets.