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ACRI

Port Worker’s Agreement Reached

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Since last summer, ILWU workers have been working without a contract.  On Friday a tentative agreement was announced. ACRI has been engaged in coordinating media to the issue in an effort to encourage those at the negotiating table to reach an agreement.

On March 12, we will be hosting a General Meeting where several Port leaders will be in attendance.  Please visit www.acrinow.org to register for this event.

Below are several points related to the tentative agreement:

  • Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced a tentative agreement
  • The contract agreement is for five (5) years
  • The agreement covers 20,000 workers at all 29 West Coast ports
  • The deal was reached with assistance from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez
  • Details of the agreement are not known at this time
  • Union membership must still ratify the agreement
  • Ratification of the agreement is expected by the ILWU membership
  • Workers began overnight shifts this past weekend
  • It will take several months to clear backlog of shipments at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles

Brett Jones Named 2015 President of Leading Trade Association

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Brett Jones Named 2015 President of Leading Trade Association

City Fibers’ Director of Sales and Procurement to Lead ACRI

San Gabriel, Calif., February 2, 2015 – The Association of California Recycling Industries (ACRI) has selected Brett Jones from City Fibers, based in Los Angeles, as its 2015 President. Jones recently served as Vice President and will succeed Kara Bouton from Allan Company in leading the statewide association.

“For the past several years I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the Board of Directors and working with recyclers throughout the state,” stated Brett Jones, ACRI President.  “As president, I am looking forward to continuing our association’s efforts to raise awareness of recycling issues and leading the development of recycling policy statewide.”

Brett Jones joined City Fibers after earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 1996.  After working in one of the company’s Materials Recovery Facilities, Jones went on to become Plant Manager. In 1999, he became a sales representative for City Fibers, the department which he now oversees.  Mr. Jones manages the procurement of several thousand tons of paper, plastic and metal commodities monthly, all of which are diverted from California’s landfills.

“ACRI is committed to promoting free market principles and ethical practices,” stated Jones.  “On behalf of the tens of thousands of men and women employed by our industry, I will ensure our voices and priorities continue to be heard in Sacramento and throughout our state.”

Brett Jones will be installed as ACRI President, along with the 2015 Board of Directors, at the association’s annual Installation Banquet and General Membership Meeting on March 12 at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Ports congestion hinders Southland recycling industry

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From the LA Times website:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ports-slowdown-recycling-20150217-story.html


By Shan Li

The congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is clogging the Southland recycling industry.

Recyclers throughout the region are scrambling to find extra space to house the massive pileup of paper, plastic and metals that are waiting to be exported on ships stuck offshore, unable to dock and unload, said Brett Jones, president of the Assn. of California Recycling Industries.

A big factor in the shipping traffic snarl is the stalemate between the dockworkers union and employers -- major shipping lines and terminal operators -- over a new labor contract.

Recycling companies ship thousands of tons of paper, plastics and metals to countries all over the world, Jones said.

Much of the lower-grade materials collected in Southern California find buyers only in Asian countries, especially China. Those lower-profit materials are destined for landfills instead of recycling plants if the stalemate doesn't end soon, he said.

“China consumes the developed world’s scrap and raw commodities,” Jones said. “If you can't get to the world’s largest consumer, then it becomes a problem.”

Jones also serves as director of sales and procurement for Los Angeles recycling firm City Fibers. Like other companies in the industry, City Fibers has been renting extra space since autumn to house the backlogged material.

The company usually exports about 10,000 tons a month, but that fell by about 40% in the last three months of 2014, Jones said. Declining sales, combined with extra warehouse costs, meant City Fibers lost money in the last quarter, he said.

“We are trying to look for other markets where we can, but it’s very limited,” Jones said. If the stalemate drags much longer, City Fibers may be forced to cut employee hours, he said.

Smaller recyclers in the Southland are facing an even more dire fate if the ports don’t start working again.

“There are a lot of companies not as large as we are who are struggling dramatically right now,” Jones said. “They could shut their doors if they can’t get their stuff out.”





Multi Industry ILWU-PMA Negotiations Mediation Letter

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January 16, 2015


Dear Mr. McEllrath and Mr. McKenna:


On behalf of the undersigned organizations representing manufacturers, farmers and agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, and transportation and logistics providers, we appreciate both parties resuming negotiations this month with the assistance of Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

We fully respect the process of collective bargaining and we understand the importance of the key issues that both management and labor are trying to resolve.  We believe that the two parties must come to a resolution of the issues that is satisfactory for all concerned.  We have been disappointed, however, by the exchanges that have occurred in the media and accusations by both sides of improper tactics.  As customers of your ports, and industries affected by their operations, our members desperately need this negotiation to be concluded and operations returned to normal levels of through-put.

Over the summer months, both sides verbally agreed to work during the negotiations without interruptions.  That promise was broken and the consequences have been to the detriment of our collective industries, the economy and our global competitiveness.  The stakes are extremely high and the uncertainty at the West Coast ports in causing great reputational and economic harm to our nation.  Policymakers in Washington, DC cannot solve the myriad of issues surrounding these talks, but the competitive marketplace will respond if you continue on this current path. 

Sales of American exports remain clouded in uncertainty across Asia and our overseas competitors eagerly highlight the problems at West Coast ports as a reason not to purchase American made or grown products.  Manufacturers in the Midwest have had to slow and even stop production lines due to delays in receiving containers from the West Coast that hold critical inputs.  Retailers are not seeing delays of early spring merchandise including products for Valentine's Day and Easter.  Supply chains across all of our industry sectors have already been adversely impacted due to events far beyond our control over the past several months.  It is a black eye for the broader economy and some jobs have and will continue to be lost as a result of continued delays at the ports. 

Please consider allaying the growing concerns of the many thousands of businesses and millions of jobs which rely on West Coast ports for orderly and timely supply chain operations by working together to conclude the ongoing contract negotiations so we can then address the congestion issues at key West Coast ports.  With the help of the Deputy Director Beckenbaugh, we ask for a renewed commitment to stay the course, complete the contract negotiations as soon as possible and work to resolve the current congestion issues without further interrupting the flow of commerce.

Sincerely,

Agricultural Retailer Association

Agriculture Transportation Coalition

Agri0Business Council of Oregon

Airforwarders Association

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

AMCOT

American Apparel & Footwear Association

American Association of Exporters and Importers

American Association of Port Authorities

American Cotton Shippers Association

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Forest and Paper Association

American Frozen Food Institute

American Home Furnishing Alliance

American Import Shippers Association

American Pistachio Growers

American Potato Trade Alliance

American Pyrotechnics Association

American Soybean Association

American Trucking Association

Association of American Railroads

Association of California Recycling Industries

...

Wine Institute

Wisconsin Soybean Growers Association

Women in International Trade, Los Angeles

cc: Acting Director Allison Beck, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy

     Director Scot Beckenbaugh, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service


Letter to the Mayor of Los Angeles on Port Congestion Surcharges

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November 18, 2014


The Honorable Eric Garcetti

Mayor

City of Los Angeles

200 N. Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012


Dear Mayor Garcetti,

On behalf of the Association of California Recycling Industries (ACRI) and the hundreds of men and women employed by our member-companies, we respectfully request your assistance in helping to resolve the labor dispute at Ports throughout California.  Unfortunately, over the last several days, importers and exporters have been experiencing severe challenges that are now threatening our industry's ability to meet California's recycling demands. 

Since May, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) have failed to reach an agreement.  As the Port is a critical component to California's economy, it is imperative that labor issues be resolved immediately.  Because a labor agreement has not been reached, shipping companies are now charging "Port Congestion Surcharges" based on a "labor unrest" provision within the tariff schedule governed by the Federal Maritime Commission.  Our membership is strongly opposed to these costly and unwarranted surcharges. 

Mr. Mayor, we respectfully request your assistance in helping to reach resolution at the Ports with the PMA and its ILWU workforce.  In addition, your assistance in urging the Federal Maritime Commission to immediately suspend implementation of the Port Congestion Surcharge would greatly be appreciated by importers and exporters. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration and leadership.

Sincerely,



Kara Bouton

ACRI President


cc. Chairman Mario Cordero, Federal Maritime Commission

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