LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A move to jump-start investment in local port projects took a large step forward on Wednesday after the City Council approved a five-year labor agreement with a union representing about 140,000 port construction workers.
The so-called Project Labor Agreement with the Los Angeles-Orange Counties Building Trades Council amounts to a blanket contract over wages and benefits for all future capital projects at the port.
Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who helped broker the agreement over the last two years, said the deal “represents years of hard work.”
“Up until now, we’ve had to negotiate each one of our projects every time it came up at the harbor,” she added.
Hahn expects the agreement to solidify investments expected to top $1.5 billion and potentially create over 6,000 construction jobs in the coming months and years.
Last week, the Air Quality Management District announced a $58 million award for power projects at the port complex.
The agreement requires 30 percent of workers on construction projects to come from local communities, which will specifically benefit people in Wilmington, San Pedro and Harbor City, Hahn said.
The agreement also reserves 10 percent of construction jobs for disadvantaged residents, such as single parents and people with no high school diplomas. Under the contract those areas “will see the benefits of living in the harbor area, not just the burdens,” Hahn said.
“There’s no doubt the Port of Los Angeles is a major economic engine for this region, but I also feel it’s important to ensure that workers in the communities that are most impacted by the operations of the port will also begin to see some benefits through jobs and job training,” she said.
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