Topic: Port of Seattle
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August 20, 2013 at 3:39 PM
The longshoremen’s union began what may be the first of many days of picketing outside the Highway 99 tunneling site near Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46 today.
The group of about 30 International Longshore and Warehouse Union members who showed up at 6 a.m. says they’ll keep coming back to picket all day until the Seattle Tunnel Partners contracting team negotiates with them again over four tunnel-work positions they want back. Picketers with signs reading ” STP lied to the ILWU” say a contract with the tunneling project managers initially seemed to dedicate those jobs to its union workers.
“We’ve been negotiating with them since 2011 and now we’ve got this contract,” said Chuck Cepeda, a labor relations spokesman for the union. “We’ll stop when they finally honor the contract.”
Back in April, the union and the tunneling project managers signed a contract saying that longshoremen would be employed to help load dirt excavated from the tunnel onto barges. But in July, an arbitrator ruled that the jobs are covered by the tunnel’s broader project labor agreement.
That means the work has gone to building-trade workers instead, a move tunnel project managers say will save them millions during boring machine Bertha’s 14-month dig beneath downtown Seattle.
The union picketing zone, marked with its own stop signs, prompted a few trucks to use another entrance to the terminal, but members aren’t doing anything else to obstruct tunnel work and don’t plan to, Cepada said. He also said that right now, there’s no talk of suing the tunneling project management team either.
“We plan to stay here until they come back to the table to negotiate,” Cepada said.
April 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM
The Port of Seattle Commission has added Stephanie Bowman, 44, a former manager of federal government affairs for the Port of Tacoma.
Bowman was selected from seven finalists to fill the seat vacated by Rob Holland, who resigned last month. She was a candidate in 2012 for the state House of Representatives, running in the same race as Holland. Both lost in the primary.
Bowman, who worked at the Port of Tacoma from 2006-2011, is currently the executive director for the Washington Asset Building Coalition. About 35 people applied for the Port’s two open positions. Courtney Gregoire was selected last month to fill the position left vacant by Gael Tarleton.
Both Bowman and Gregoire will appear on the 2013 ballot.
Commission President Tom Albro said in a statement that Bowman “has the background and skills to be an outstanding member of our commission and asset to the port. Her in-depth knowledge of port issues will enable her to hit the ground running.”
February 21, 2013 at 11:48 AM
OLYMPIA — The state Supreme Court says a 20-day unpaid suspension without pay was an appropriate punishment for a Port of Seattle employee who left a noose hanging in the workplace.
In 2007 a 70-year-old white co-worker asked Mark Cann to put away a rope. Instead, in what he characterized as a joke, Cann tied it into a noose, saying that it was to put the co-worker “out of his misery.”
The noose was observed and reported by a black co-worker with whom Cann had a recent falling out. The Port of Seattle fired Cann, but an arbitrator reinstated him with a 20-day suspension.
A King County Superior Court judge found that too lenient and boosted the suspension to six months.
But in a unanimous decision Thursday, the Supreme Court reinstated the arbitrator’s award. The high court held that although Cann’s acts were “ignorant and unacceptable,” at a time when many working families live month-to-month, 20 days without pay was a significant punishment.
February 13, 2013 at 2:46 PM
Port of Seattle Commissioner Rob Holland has resigned his position effective March 15, according to Port spokesman Jason Kelly. Holland, who joined the Port in 2010, was the subject of a Seattle Times story Sunday about the problems he ran into during his first term, including misusing a Port credit card, personal financial problems, and sometimes difficult relationships with staff and colleagues.
A news release from the Port said Holland is leaving “to pursue other professional opportunities.”
In a statement, he said: “The Port’s mission of creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity for everyone in our community will remain close to my heart. The working waterfront is an engine for jobs that lifts families up into prosperity. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve the people of King County on economic justice issues and look forward to continuing my community service in other venues.”
As a commissioner, Holland worked to attract minority and women-owned businesses to the airport and, on a trip to Korea, participated in negotiations to retain Hanjin, one of the Port’s largest shipping lines, at the Port.
“Rob has been a powerful advocate for working families during his service on the Commission,” said Commission President Tom Albro. “He firmly believes that a rising tide must lift all boats, a sentiment that I know we all share. While we will miss Rob’s voice in our meetings, we know he will continue to advance important issues.”
Port commissioners are in the middle of an appointment process to fill a vacancy left by Gael Tarleton, who joined the state House of Representatives. Now they will plan to appoint two new commissioners in early March.
December 11, 2012 at 9:15 AM
KING 5 News
A handful of restaurants at Sea-Tac Airport would receive exclusive, no compete leases worth millions of dollars under a controversial proposal being pushed by the elected officials who run the Port of Seattle. The perks would benefit 11 of the 25 small businesses operating at the airport, raising concerns by Port staff and federal officials that the policy is discriminatory.
Sea-Tac is operated by the Port, a public agency governed by five elected commissioners. Two of those officials — Commissioners John Creighton and Rob Holland -– championed the proposal that would benefit six small business owners who operate 11 food and beverage businesses at the airport.
In addition to the lease extensions, the business owners have also asked for steep reductions in rents. According to financial records analyzed by KING, if the business owners get what they want, the proposal would result in $8 million less in rent payments from the businesses. The lease extensions would also prevent other small business owners from competing for the 11 spaces. The lease extensions would begin in 2017 and last through 2024.
August 23, 2012 at 5:29 PM
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood chose Seattle’s Harbor Island on Thursday morning to announce creation of a Freight Policy Council. His goal is to propose corridor improvements for U.S. ports and a strategy to better move freight.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell joined LaHood in the warehouse of PCC Logistics, where LaHood referred to her as “the freight senator.” She faces a re-election challenge from Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane, whose signature issue is bringing home troops from Afghanistan.
Shipping industry executives, including BNSF Railway CEO Matt Rose and Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani, groused about the U.S. government’s lack of a freight policy at a Seattle convention last fall, while Canada invests heavily in its British Columbia terminals and inland railways.
There’s no new money or freight project list, but Cantwell and LaHood mentioned this state’s $150 million Vancouver (WA) Rail Project – where state and federal higher-speed rail funds will separate freight trains from Amtrak passenger trains, to reduce delays for both – as the kind of work that needs to be done. In Seattle, a South Lander Street overpass in Sodo was proposed years ago but lacks adequate city and state money.
LaHood said his federal board will be modeled on the Washington State Freight Mobility Investment Board. He said Washington state performs better than most in coordinating trucks, trains, and ships.
Seattle port backers worry about the 2014 widening of the Panama Canal. About 70 percent of cargo entering Seattle winds up in markets beyond the region, therefore the biggest ships can deliver their goods by passing through the enlarged canal to Gulf of Mexico ports. Would a national freight strategy tilt the balance away from the Northwest?
“These ports are going to very well when the Panama Canal opens, becuase they’re ahead of the curve on this,” LaHood said. Rather than pit regions against each other, Cantwell predicts USDOT would endorse projects aiding West Coast ports to increase their Asian trade, while competing against Canada and Mexico.
Lacking specifics, Thursday’s visit seems mostly about relationship-building, or keeping Puget Sound on a cabinet member’s mind.
At the photo-op site, PCC Logistics, a cornucopia of products is being loaded rail-to-truck or truck-to-rail: solar panels from China, pomegranate juice from Azerbaijan, peas and hay from eastern Washington, pork from Kansas.
History buff LaHood could have mentioned how federal stimulus programs for trade date back to Henry Clay’s “American System,” in the 1820s. He stopped at the river port of Lewiston, Idaho before Seattle and at a north Spokane freeway project afterward.
August 15, 2012 at 11:13 PM
From Staff Reporter Keith Ervin
The Port of Seattle Commission has agreed to sell much of the Eastside Rail Corridor to King County for future use as a trail.
The $15 million deal, approved by the commission Tuesday, still needs ratification by the Metropolitan King County Council.
After the Port bought the 42-mile Renton-to-Snohomish rail line from BNSF Railway in 2009 for $81 million, it sold some segments within King County to Redmond, Kirkland and Sound Transit, which also obtained rights to build a high-capacity passenger-rail line.
King County’s earlier $1.9 million payment for a trail easement will be credited toward the purchase price.
July 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM
Bipartisan transportation leaders in the Washington Legislature say they oppose the proposed Sodo arena because of the potential negative impact to the Port of Seattle and the state’s trade economy.
Four legislators submitted an op-ed to The Seattle Times this week: Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, the chair of the Housee Transportation Committee; Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee; Rep. Mike Armstrong, R-Wenatchee, the ranking minority member of the House Transportation Committee; and Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, the ranking minority member of the Senate Transportation Committee.
The four say the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma must be operating at a high level to compete with other regions of the country for business and to export Eastern Washington agriculture.
“A healthy and functioning Port of Seattle is absolutely crucial to the state’s economic well-being and we can support nothing that in any way further impedes operations at the Port of Seattle.”
The leaders said they couldn’t support an arena in Sodo “if there is even the slightest risk to our trade-based economy.”
The op-ed notes that millions have been spent on freight infrastructure in Sodo including the BNSF railyard, Amtrak and Sounder trains, and Port freight operations. It also argues that major infrastructure improvements had been discussed before “the additional congestion of an arena became a consideration.”
The Port of Seattle has been an outspoken opponent of the arena proposal, citing a threat to its operations and future growth, though a recent story in the Times showed that the Port lacked hard data to support its traffic concerns.
May 22, 2012 at 6:37 PM
Two men who died in separate worksite incidents on May 17 have been identified by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Paul A. Stuart, 61, was crushed while operating a forklift at the Port of Seattle; Francisco J. Montes-Lopez, 25, died while pressure-washing a moored vessel at a shipyard in Seattle.
Stuart’s death has been ruled an accident, a spokesman from the Medical Examiner’s Office said.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Seattle police are investigating Montes-Lopez’ death, the cause and manner of which are still pending.
May 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM
The man was crushed between a forklift and a container, said Hector Castro, spokesman for the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. Seattle Fire Department medics took the man to Harborview Medical Center, where he died.
Jaime Neal, a vice president at SSA Marine, said the man was working at Terminal 18 when the fatal incident occurred. She said SSA Marine is working with investigators from the Labor and Industries.
“This is a very sad and tragic situation. Our deepest sympathies go out to [his] family,” Neal said. “We take these accidents very seriously.”
Officials with International Longshore & Warehouse Union, Local 19, declined to comment about what happened until the man’s family had been contacted. Terminal 18 is shut down for a 24-hour period, as is customary after an on-site death, union officials said.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also investigating a second maritime industry fatality in Seattle yesterday.
Deanne Amaden, an OSHA spokeswoman, said that a worker was killed while “performing a pressure washing operation on a boat.” Amaden, who had initially said that the accident happened inside a shipyard, said this afternoon that the man was aboard a boat tied up at a dock when he died.
Kyle Moore, spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department, said that medics were called to the 2700 West Commodore Way at 5:27 p.m. on a report of a man in his mid-20s not breathing. Medics found the man on the walkway of a large ship; someone had already started CPR. The man could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene, Moore said.
The man was working on a large commercial fishing boat docked at the Maritime Industrial Center, which is Port of Seattle property, another tenant in the center said.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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