- Reporters Desk
Longshore workers approve 5-year contract
SAN FRANCISCO — On May 22, West Coast Longshore workers voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement reached in February with employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association.
Twenty-nine experienced slowdowns this past February due to contract disputes and suspension of operations.
“The West Coast ports are an economic engine for the United States, supporting millions of workers and trillions in economic impact,” said PMA President and CEO Jim McKenna in a statement. “The disruptions that occurred during negotiations, and the inconvenience and hardship created by them, were regrettable.”
International Longshore and Warehouse Union members voted 82 percent in favor of approving the new 5-year agreement that will expire on July 1, 2019. The previous contract was ratified in 2008 with a vote of 75 percent in favor.
Voting results were certified by the ILWU’s Coast Balloting Committee, which was chosen by Coast Longshore Caucus delegates elected from each of the 29 West Coast ports.
“Membership unity and hard work by the Negotiating Committee made this fair outcome possible,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.
The new agreement provides about 20,000 jobs in 29 West Coast port communities. The contract will maintain health benefits, improve wages, pensions and job safety protections; limit outsourcing of jobs and provide an improved system for resolving job disputes.
“This new pact is terrific for management and labor, and proves that by working together, we can build a partnership that will continue to help to improve this economy and provide jobs all across the United States,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond in a statement.
Port of Long Beach workers returned to work Feb. 17.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia also issued a statement.
“We can now move forward together and continue operating the world’s best Port, which is the engine of our local and national economy,” he said. “My thanks to all the parties involved for working hard to reach this important agreement.”
Andrews Announces Write-In Campaign
LONG BEACH — On May 22, Long Beach City Councilman Dee Andrews announced that he will seek another term as a write-in candidate in April 2016’s municipal primary election.
Under Long Beach’s City Charter, council members may run for a third term, but only as write-in candidates in the primary election. Upon advancing to the general election, their names will appear on the ballot.
Andrews was elected to the Long Beach City Council in a Special Election in 2007. He was re-elected in 2008 and was unopposed in his re-election in 2012. Andrews has been a resident of central Long Beach for more than 60 years. He served as the first black student body president at Poly High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social science and physical education from California State University Long Beach.
For more than 29 years, Andrews taught black history and government at Long Beach Poly and Wilson High Schools. He now works as a substitute teacher at Cabrillo High School in the Long Beach Unified School District.
UCC Gets New Director
LONG BEACH — On May 21, the United Cambodian Community board of directors appointed Susana Sngiem as its new executive director.
Sngiem worked at the United Cambodian Community as a program director for two years. She recently served its interim executive director.
Sngiem is the first second-generation Cambodian-American to be appointed executive director at the UCC. Her family immigrated to Long Beach from Cambodia in the early 1980s after surviving the atrocities of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime, from 1975 to 1979.
Born and reared in Long Beach, Sngiem earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California Irvine and a master’s in social work from the University of Southern California.