Port of Los Angeles approves construction labor agreement
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a 10-year project labor agreement that covers 38 projects representing an investment of about $780 million planned over the next decade.
The agreement announced Thursday between the port and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Trades Council ensures quality and timely construction of facilities and large-scale infrastructure projects at the port, according to port officials.
The PLA is subject to final approval by the Los Angeles City Council and is expected to take effect within the next three to six months.
“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,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The Port of Los Angeles has $146.1 million budgeted for new construction in fiscal 2017.
The port -- rated Aa2, AA, AA by Moody's Investors Service, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings with stable outlooks -- is the highest-volume container port in North America, according to financial documents. When combined with the neighboring Port of Long Beach, the twin ports represent the 10th largest seaport in the world.
The port has nearly $1 billion in outstanding bond debt, according to its CAFR for fiscal year ended June 30, 2016.
In addition to insuring that jobs are provided for unemployed workers in disadvantaged areas of Los Angeles, the labor agreement is also designed to encourage swift settlement of disputes with no strikes or lockouts and continuity of port-wide trade operations during construction, participants said.
“This PLA builds on the previous five-year agreement that benefited 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.”
The agreement covers an initial list of 38 planned and proposed infrastructure projects including 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, according to port officials. That list represents a total investment of nearly $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.”