A 10-year agreement that ensures quality and timely construction of facilities and large-scale infrastructure projects at the Port of Los Angeles won unanimous approval today from the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners.
The port-wide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the Port and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council also reinvests in the local economy. The agreement requires nearly a third of the well-paying jobs and apprenticeships generated by most major Port construction projects go to residents of the harbor area and high-unemployment communities within the City of Los Angeles.
“The men and women who clock in every day at the Port of Los Angeles are a driving force in the global economy,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This Project Labor Agreement will create new career opportunities that Angelenos deserve, and bring stability to operations as we invest billions in infrastructure that will define the future of the Port.”
“This PLA builds on the previous five-year agreement that benefitted working families in the harbor area and helped Los Angeles remain one of the top ports in the world,” said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents more than 100,000 trade and craft workers. “I’m proud to say we are extending this agreement and doubling its term to 10 years. This is a huge vote of confidence in the men and women of our affiliated local unions.”
The PLA is a blanket agreement that establishes wages, benefits and work rules for those hired to build designated Port projects. The agreement ensures all workers – electricians, pipefitters, iron workers, cement masons, laborers and others – earn prevailing wages set forth in the bargaining agreements of all participating union locals.
The PLA covers an initial list of 38 planned and proposed infrastructure projects representing an investment of about USD 780 million in wharf improvements, rail enhancements, shore power upgrades, marine oil terminal modernization and waterfront projects. The Port expects to add more projects over the life of the agreement.
Under the prior agreement, the Port completed 20 major construction projects on time and within budget and is on track to do the same with six remaining projects. The list represents a total investment of nearly USD 848 million and includes the Berth 200 Rail Yard, TraPac Container Terminal Project, the South Wilmington Grade Separation, and waterfront improvements.
“Skilled workers and apprentices from our own communities provided approximately one third of labor to build these projects,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re eager to keep that momentum going so the Port of Los Angeles remains a modern, competitive and sustainable gateway that strengthens our communities while powering the nation’s economy.”
The advantages of the Port’s PLA include:
- Efficient construction of large-scale, complex projects on time and within budget
- Orderly hiring of skilled labor and apprentices, primarily through union halls
- Prevailing wage, benefit and work rules for multiple contractors and skilled workers building Port projects
- Community reinvestment through local hiring local requirements
- Swift settlement of disputes with no strikes or lockouts
- Continuity of port-wide trade operations during construction
The PLA’s hiring provisions seek to reduce unemployment and underemployment in the harbor area and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods within the City of Los Angeles. Based on total work hours, the agreement requiring contractors to meet three targets for each project:
- Local residents perform at least 30 percent of the work
- Transitional workers perform at least 10 percent of the work, which can be counted toward the 30 percent local hire requirement
- Apprentices perform at least 20 percent of the work
Contractors must draw workers from one of two target areas identified in the agreement to meet the hiring requirements. The first area stretches from the harbor district north to South Central Los Angeles. The second fans out from East Los Angeles and downtown LA to Sunland, Tujunga and other portions of the San Fernando Valley. Low-income communities near Los Angeles International Airport are also in the second group. At least half the apprentices must live in these areas.
Transitional workers are defined as veterans, homeless individuals and those seeking to turn their lives around after a history in the criminal justice system. The group also includes residents of the target areas who meet at least two of the following criteria: qualify as a low-income household; receive public assistance; lack a high school diploma or GED; are a custodial single parent; suffer long-term unemployment; are emancipated from the foster care system; and/or have less than 15 hours in a state-approved apprenticeship program.
Subject to final approval by the Los Angeles City Council, the PLA is expected to take effect within the next three to six months.