Battle underway at the port of LA : Driverless cargo handlers vs. jobs



LA WATCHDOG–On Friday, June 28, the Los Angeles City Council will consider a motion by Councilman Joe Buscaino to assert jurisdiction over a decision by the Board of Harbor Commissioners to approve a minor construction permit that would allow Maersk, the world’s largest shipper of cargo containers, and its subsidiary, APM Terminals, to install electric charging stations, wi-fi antenna poles, and traffic barriers in its 484 acre facility.

This construction permit is just a small part of Maersk’s ambitious plan to introduce up to 130 driverless electric powered cargo handlers that will increase the efficiency of its container operations. This capital-intensive project will also reduce emissions consistent with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s New Green Deal.

Unfortunately, the politically powerful International Longshore and Warehouse Union is opposed Maersk’s plan because it believes that it will result in the loss of an estimated 500 jobs. As a result, they have enlisted the help of Garcetti, Buscaino who represents San Pedro, County Supervisor Janice Hahn, a resident of San Pedro, and the Democratic Party to oppose this minor construction permit in an effort to stall or derail Maersk’s project.

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